China releases methane emission control action plan

2023-11-08 09:03:27Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, together with 10 other departments, has issued the methane emission plan, endeavoring in working out a methane emission accounting, reporting and auditing system. The plan includes research on promoting the establishment of methane emission accounting and reporting systems for key industries, urging large emission sources such as coal mines, oil and gas fields, farms, landfills and sewage treatment plants to regularly report methane emission data.

The Methane Emission Control Action Plan, approved by the State Council, was released on Tuesday, as the top-level design document for methane emission management and control.

According to the plan, the policies, technologies and standards for methane emission control will be gradually established during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25). Basic capabilities such as methane emission statistical accounting, monitoring and supervision will be improved. The utilization and control of methane emissions will make active progress.

In the planting and breeding industries, the methane emission intensity of agricultural products will be steadily reduced. The utilization rate of the nationwide urban domestic waste resource and the harmless disposal rate of urban sludge will continue to rise.

During the 15th Five-Year Plan period (2026-2030), policies, technologies, and standards for methane emission control will be further enhanced, which includes significant improvements in the fundamental capabilities of methane emission statistical accounting, monitoring, and supervision. Moreover, the control capacity and management level for methane emissions will be strengthened.

The utilization of coal mine gas will be further improved, and the methane emission intensity of agricultural products in the planting and breeding industries will be further decreased.

The plan proposes the study of establishing a methane emission accounting, reporting, and auditing system with the aim of promoting the development of accounting and reporting systems for methane emissions in key industries. This includes encouraging major emission sources such as coal mines, oil and gas fields, breeding farms, landfills, and sewage treatment plants to consistently report methane emission data.

In conjunction with the national and provincial greenhouse gas inventory compilation work, it aims to realize the normalization of methane emission accounting. Besides, it is planned to organize data verification, sampling and on-site inspection activities to steadily improve the quality of methane emission data.

The plan deploys eight key tasks including strengthening the construction of the methane emission monitoring, accounting, reporting and verification system, advancing methane emission control in the energy sector, promoting methane emission control in the agricultural sector, and enhancing methane emission control in waste and sewage treatment.

Specifically, the plan proposes to encourage and guide coal enterprises to enhance the utilization of coal mine methane. By 2025, the annual utilization of coal mine methane is expected to reach 6 billion cubic meters. By 2030, the collection rate of gas from oilfield-associated gas is expected to meet advanced international standards.

It also plans to enhance the comprehensive management of landfill sites for household waste and improve the recovery and utilization of landfill gas. By 2025, the nationwide utilization rate as resource for urban household waste is targeted to reach around 60 percent.

Besides, it plans to innovate and improve economic incentive policies, encouraging climate financing for methane emission control projects.

The formulation and release of the Methane Emission Control Action Plan is a significant measure to implement the decisions and arrangements of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. It is an intrinsic requirement to promote high-quality development, promote the coordinated reduction of pollutants and carbon emissions, and enhance overall efficiency. This action plan reflects China's active response to climate change, represents independent initiatives, and contributes positively to global climate governance.

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