China has become the world's second largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter behind the United States. It emits approximately three billion tons of CO2 equivalents every year. Its growing economy and large population are making a wealthier, more consumption-oriented country. Energy demand is expected to grow 5–10% per year through 2030. Therefore, a large potential of GHG emission reduction in China can be expected. The clean development mechanism (CDM) put forward in the Kyoto Protocol for reductions of GHGs can support the sustainable development of developing countries and help developed countries to achieve their emission reduction targets at low cost. However, there are still many disagreements to be resolved between developing and developed countries. In this letter, we try to introduce the current development of CDM projects in China and discuss its potential and opportunities in the future decades.