China launches pilot programme to assess carbon emissions at new industrial projects

BEIJING, July 27 (Reuters) - China will carry out a pilot programme in key industrial regions to assess carbon emissions at new projects in sectors from steel to petrochemicals, according to a statement from the environment ministry on Tuesday.

The move follows China's pledge to continue fighting pollution while bringing carbon emissions to a peak by 2030 and to a net zero 2060.

"Implementing the environmental impact assessment of carbon an important starting point and effective way to promote the synergy of climate change and environmental governance," said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in the statement.

The Chinese central government has been criticising some local governments for blindly launching new high-pollution and high energy consumption projects.

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

The pilot project will take place at seven regions, including top steelmaking province Hebei and oil refining hub Shandong, where local authorities will focus on one or more of their major industries.

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

Local authorities are also encouraged to expand carbon emission assessment to other industrial sectors in accordance to their climate change plans.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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