In 2011 the Climate Change Department of the NDRC announced concrete plans to start an emission trading market in China. Seven pilot regions were chosen to establish emission trading schemes by 2013/2014 with a chance of setting up a national trading market by 2016.The aim of this project was to analyse a potential national trading scheme in China under economic and environmental aspects. To this end, the targets and the planned implementation of the pilot trading schemes were examined in order to derive possible scenarios for a national system. These scenarios encompass different reduction targets, a varying sectoral coverage and possible links to existing trading schemes. We used a computable general equilibrium model to assess the impacts of these policy scenarios on economic and environmental indicators.