China overtook the US as the world’s top emitter in 2007, and produced 1.5 times the emissions of the US by 2013 . At present, China’s emissions make up over a quarter of the global total. China is expected to produce three times the emissions of the US by 2030 . Indeed, China’s role and efforts in CO2 reductions matter greatly for the peaking of global emissions, even without further emission leakages to less-developed regions or countries. China recently announced the launch of a nation-wide emission-trading scheme (ETS) starting in 2017  in order to help deliver its emission peak by 2030. A number of climate policies in China are ongoing, and require a full performance review, effective coordination, and appropriate implementation of planning and monitoring measures along with any newly added mechanisms. This paper utilizes the latest energy and emission data to explore the impact of emission trading as a policy driver toward absolute emission and emission intensity changes in China and in its seven provinces or municipalities.