China pledges to set up annual greenhouse gas inventory

By Reuters

January 13, 2024 at 1:00 PM

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China said it plans to take an annual inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions as it tries to boost its carbon trading capability and ensure it meets its climate targets.

The government aims to "compile a year-by-year national greenhouse gas inventory" as part of efforts to halt the rise in emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, China's cabinet said in guidelines published by state news agency Xinhua late on Thursday.

The world's biggest carbon polluter has not previously published annual updates about how much greenhouse gas it produces, but it has been obliged to submit figures to the United Nations every five years.

Its latest official inventory, submitted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change at the end of the year, covered 2017 and measured China's greenhouse gas emissions at 11.55 billion tons, with carbon dioxide accounting for more than 80%.

The logging of methane emissions, which accounted for an estimated 11.8% of total greenhouse gas in 2017, remains a major challenge. China has acknowledged the data gap is holding back abatement efforts.

China said in its U.N. submission that it had been working to improve the integrity of its statistics and bring them in line with international standards. It highlighted "uncertainties" in its estimates of greenhouse gas from road traffic as well as methane emissions from rice cultivation.

"There's a real practical upgrade needed... outside of the energy and industrial sectors," said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst with the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

"But of course if China can do reporting every five years, it can report every year as well," he said, noting that the country already calculates and reports annual "carbon intensity" - carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic growth.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by William Mallard)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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