SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will promote large-scale carbon capture projects and track methane emissions from coal, oil and gas extraction, as part of its contribution to global efforts to limit rising temperatures, the environment ministry said on Wednesday.
President Xi Jinping promised last year that China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, would peak its emissions by 2030 and become “carbon neutral” by 2060.
In new policy guidelines, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has pledged to make climate action a performance indicator for government officials.
He also said controlling carbon emissions would be central to a coordinated program to protect and restore the country’s environment, which has been damaged by decades of rampant industrial growth.
Since Xi unveiled China’s carbon neutrality goal at the United Nations in September last year, Chinese and foreign scholars have said China should deploy technologies that capture greenhouse gases released during extraction and combustion of fossil fuels.
Senior officials have also backed “nature-based solutions” aimed at tackling the causes of climate change, including programs for reforestation and wetland restoration.
In the new guidelines, the MEE said it would encourage the construction of large-scale carbon capture, use and storage demonstration projects. China has several carbon capture projects underway, but none have been economically viable.
MEE also said it would deploy advanced satellite technology to track land use change, another major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage industries such as steel, electricity and chemicals to formulate their own plans to bring emissions to a peak.
As China nears the launch of the repeatedly delayed first phase of its national emissions trading system, the MEE also pledged to make full use of market mechanisms to reduce emissions. Greenhouse effect.
Reporting by David Stanway; edited by Barbara Lewis