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China Announces Next Steps on Methane Emissions Control During the 14th Five-Year Period


25 November 2021 – China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) announced next steps for methane emissions control during the 14th Five-Year period (2021-2025), at its monthly press conference in November 2021. These steps are intended to support China’s targets for achieving net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2060 and implement the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s.

According to MEE, China will promote methane emission reduction through the following measures:

  • Conducting research on the status of its methane emissions, identifying effective methane-emissions reduction measures in key sectors including coal mining, agriculture, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment, and oil and gas, and promoting the development of methane recycling and emissions reduction technologies.
  • Promulgating a National Action Plan on methane, including the following actions:
    • establishing the policy, technology, and standards system for methane emissions reduction in coal, oil and gas, waste treatment, and other sectors;
    • revising the coalbed methane/coal mine gas emissions standard and strengthening standard implementation;
    • strengthening methane emissions control and recycling in the oil and gas, waste, and other sectors; and
    • revising the regulations and related methodologies for China’s voluntary GHG emissions reduction mechanisms, supporting eligible methane emissions reduction projects to be incorporated into voluntary GHG trading mechanisms, and use market forces to encourage enterprises to implement methane emissions reduction measures.
  • Strengthening access to and accuracy of methane data; improving the monitoring, reporting, and verification system for methane emissions from key sectors; promoting the collection and analysis of methane emissions data from key facilities; tracking and assessing the effectiveness of methane emissions reduction measures in key regions and key enterprises; improving the reporting system for methane-related data in the statistical reporting system for addressing climate change; and continuously improving methane-emissions data quality.
  • Performing demonstration projects for methane emissions control; continuing to encourage voluntary methane emissions reduction actions in key sectors; encouraging localities and enterprises to cooperate on methane emissions control; and promoting the development of methane utilization technologies, equipment, and industries, understanding that such actions can achieve multiple benefits in GHG emissions reduction, resource utilization, and pollutant control.
  • Strengthening international cooperation in key areas, including on methane control policies, technologies, and standardization systems, monitoring, reporting, and verification systems, and technology innovation for emissions reduction.

MEE also mentioned during the press conference that China and the U.S. will move forward with establishing the “Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s,” (mentioned in paragraph 16 of the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s), will carry out exchanges on policies and technologies, identify programs and projects in areas of mutual interest, organize intergovernmental and non-governmental expert meetings, and promote the participation of local governments, enterprises, think tanks, scholars, and other experts.

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