China’s year-old carbon market has given more than 2,000 power plants a taste of emissions trading,

Nearly 200 million tonnes of carbon changed hands in the first year of operations at a total value of 8.5 billion yuan ($1.26bn).

However, trading has been relatively slow, dogged by a surplus of emissions allocations as well as concerns about data accuracy.

“In terms of the impact, in terms of environmental gains, clearly it’s been limited,” said Matt Gray

Some of the criticism of the ETS is down to the scheme’s design.

Emission allowances are handed out free of charge and are determined not by absolute emission volumes.

Though environmental gains have been limited so far,

Think-tank Ember credits the scheme for cutting the continent’s coal power emissions by 43 percent from 2013 to 2019.