On 26 November 2009, the State Council of the People's Republic of China announced that the PRC pledged to voluntarily reduce its carbon intensity at 40 percent - 45 percent per unit of gross domestic product by 2020 against 2005. As the first step to move towards a low carbon society in line with the national policy, the China Beijing Environment Exchange ("CBEEX") officially released the first standard for voluntary greenhouse gas ("GHG") offset entitled "Panda Standard Version 1.0" on 16 December 2009 at the Copenhagen Convention. The principal founders of the Panda Standard are CBEEX, the BlueNext (Europe's largest carbon credits exchange) and the China Forestry Exchange.

The Panda Standard is a Chinese domestic standard for GHG emission reductions project activities. The standard's core structure is based on the international standard for GHG management activities developed by the International Organisation for Standardization, in particular, ISO14064-2 Specification with guidance at the project level for quantification, monitoring and reporting of GHG emission reductions or removal enhancements, and ISO14064-3 Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of GHG assertions. The Panda Standard (in both English and Chinese) is available at http://www.pandastandard.org/.

It is anticipated that similar standards will be issued by the other local environment exchanges in China such as the Tianjin Climate Exchange and the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange in order to further provide the foundation for voluntary carbon offset activities in China.