On October 31, 2022, China issued the Implementation Plan for Establishing Standardized Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality Measurement System (hereinafter referred to as the Implementation Plan), a multi-department effort to support the “1+N” policy framework for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. The Implementation Plan, one of several dozen “N” plans currently under development, introduces concrete and actionable goals and major tasks for establishing a standardized measurement system in this regard. Key highlights include:
"1+N" Policy: “1” refers to the long-term approach to combating climate change, which is well documented in The Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy issued on October 24. “N” refers to solutions to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030, starting with the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 issued on October 26.
The Implementation Plan put forward essential standards that will be widely used in the fields of energy, industries, urban and rural construction, agriculture, forestry, public institutions, residential life, supporting regions, industries, parks, and organizations at all levels to achieve China's “double carbon” goal.
1. By 2025, a standardized measurement system for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality will be fundamentally established. The nation should formulate and revise no less than 200 measurement technical specifications, prepare to build several carbon measurement centers, develop no less than 200 reference materials/samples, complete no less than 1,000 national and industrial standards, and substantively participate in the formulation and revision of no less than 30 relevant international standards.
2. By 2030, the standardized measurement system for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality will be further improved. The focus will shift from carbon peaking to carbon neutrality, as the nation achieves a well-established standard system for non-fossil energy and improve standards for carbon capture, utilization and storage and ecological carbon sink.
3. By 2060, a comprehensive standardized measurement system will be established to drive the green transformation and achieve carbon neutrality.
1. Basic and common standard for carbon emissions
Formulate basic standards on terminology, categorization, information disclosure, etc;
Improve standards for carbon monitoring, calculation, reporting, and auditing;
Enhance low carbon management and assessment.
2. Carbon emission reduction standard
Emphasis shall be placed on energy conservation, non-fossilized energy, clean and low-carbon utilization of fossil energy, greenhouse gas reduction during production and service, and resource cycling.
3. Carbon removal standard
Formulate technical standards such as ecological carbon sink, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and direct air capture (DAC) to realize carbon neutrality.
4. Market-based mechanism standard
Improve and develop standards on green finance, and carbon emission trade to achieve value realization of ecological products.
1. Improve the technology system for carbon measurement
Bolster research and application of basic and cutting-edge measurement technologies in key industries such as coal, electricity, steel, and transportation;
Establish and improve benchmarks, standards and reference materials system for carbon measurement;
Pilot carbon measurement in industries with suitable conditions and explore successful methods and patterns to roll out nationwide.
2. Strengthen the construction of a management system for carbon measurement
Research and formulate regulations on the supervision and administration of carbon measurement and establish supportive rules for assessment and audit;
Carry out inspections frequently on key emission units to assess energy and carbon emissions measurement.
3. Build an optimized service system for carbon measurement
Establish a public service platform to improve the quality of public measurement service;
Improve sectoral measurement service by offering technology and policy support to enhance enterprises' capabilities to calculate carbon emissions;
Strengthen third-party measurement services by encouraging the development of third-party carbon measurement service organizations.