China launches pilot program to assess carbon emissions in new industrial projects

BEIJING, Jul 27 (Reuters) – China will run a pilot program in key industrial regions to assess carbon emissions from new projects in sectors from steel to petrochemicals, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Environment Ministry.

The move comes after China’s commitment to continue fighting pollution while pushing carbon emissions from a projected peak in 2030 to net zero in 2060.

“The implementation of the environmental impact assessment of carbon emissions (…) is an important starting point and an effective way to promote the synergy of climate change and environmental governance,” said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in the notice.

The Chinese central government has been criticizing some local governments for launching new high-pollution, high-energy projects.

The assessment would focus primarily on carbon dioxide emissions from new projects and could also include other greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons, according to the ministry statement.

The pilot project will be carried out in seven regions, including the main steel province of Hebei and the Shandong oil refining center, where local authorities will focus on one or more of its main industries.

Regions will need to formulate a methodology to verify carbon emissions in new projects by the end of 2021, and have a general understanding of the level of carbon emission and carbon reduction potentials in industries before June 2022.

Local authorities are also encouraged to extend the carbon emissions assessment to other industrial sectors in accordance with their plans to tackle climate change.

(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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