China plans to reduce methane emissions in key business sectors

Out-Law News | 03 Dec 2021 | 2:13 am | 1 min. read

China is planning to look at ways to control and reduce methane emissions in sectors including coal, petroleum and waste.

The country will aim to launch a nationwide methane emission control action plan, and will set up policies, technologies and standards for controlling methane emissions, according to Lu Xinming, the deputy head of the climate change department at China’s ecology and environment ministry.

It will also revise a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction mechanism and support eligible projects to participate GHG emission reduction trading. On methane emissions, China intends to improve its measurement, reporting and verification system; encourage companies in sectors such as coal, agriculture, solid waste, sewage water treatment, petroleum and natural gas to cooperate on and develop methane emission control technologies; and to increase international cooperation in methane control policies, technologies and technological innovation.

Renewables and climate change expert John Yeap at Pinsent Masons said: “Whilst China was not included in the Global Methane Pledge that was signed at COP26 in Glasgow last month, the US and China did of course enter into a bilateral agreement to address methane emissions. This announcement by China on its plans to reduce methane emissions will therefore no doubt be welcomed as an indication of China’s commitment to its global role in addressing climate change.”

In August, China opened an online national carbon market. Carbon trading is the buying and selling of permits to emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

In April, China launched Guangzhou Futures Exchange which will explore introducing electricity futures, climate-related products, commodity index futures and other unspecified "green-linked" commodities.

China announced its goal to have carbon emissions peak by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 in September 2020. Two months later, it published its action plan on attaining peak carbon emissions by this date.