Guangdong is looking to open the mainland's first carbon futures exchange, with the backing of the central government, which would boost the province's role in carbon trading as a mainland-wide market takes shape. The province already runs the biggest of the mainland's seven pilot carbon markets and is hoping to play a significant role in the mainland-wide scheme that Beijing wants to roll out next year. The State Council has backed its plan for a futures market as part of a blueprint for a new free-trade zone (FTZ) in the province. "We will study ways to build an innovative futures trading exchange and to list carbon futures as the first product," the State Council said on Monday. It is not clear who will own the new futures market, which would be a national exchange. Carbon trading on provincial markets is currently restricted to spot products. Shenzhen has opened foreign currency trading accounts to attract international carbon traders and is seeking approval to offer futures contracts along with Guangzhou, the provincial capital. "Incorporating the new carbon futures exchange in the FTZ is meant, apparently, to create easier access for international participants," said Jeff Huang, managing director for greater China at IntercontinentalExchange, a US-based bourse. Supervision of the futures market is expected to fall under the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The National Development and Reform Commission, is designing the national carbon trading market.