China expands national carbon monitoring network

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China is about to establish a national carbon monitoring network covering major cities in major regions, according to the country’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).

“With the successful launch of the atmospheric environment monitoring satellite on April 16, China has become the first country to achieve high-precision all-day active laser detection of CO2 worldwide,” said Jiang Huohua, deputy director of MEE’s Department of Ecological and Environmental Monitoring.

“The MEE plans to take advantage of the monitoring satellite to strengthen remote sensing data support for CO2 and air pollutants.”

In September 2021 the ministry launched carbon monitoring and an evaluation pilot program focusing on three areas: key industries, cities and regions.

Progress has been smooth, according to Jiang. To speed up the implementation of the pilot program, 11 conglomerates and 49 participating companies in the five pilot industries of thermal power, steel, oil and natural gas, coal mining, and waste disposal have set up 119 monitoring stations, most of which have provided monitoring data for three to five months. Thirteen cities have completed demonstration projects featuring site layout and monitoring plans, and equipment has been gradually put in place enabling monitoring to be carried out. Some non-pilot provinces (cities) have also prepared for possible upcoming carbon monitoring with reference to the deployment of the pilot program.

Judging from the data obtained so far and the comparative analysis, Jiang pointed out, carbon monitoring can not only contribute directly to carbon emissions accounting and coordinate the verification of carbon accounting methods, but it can also help cities reach “peak carbon” more quickly.

Jiang said that the MEE will strengthen overall coordination and technical guidance to advance the pilot program in an orderly manner. Some of the future focuses include expanding the scope of carbon monitoring pilots in the thermal power industry, conducting in-depth data comparison, analysis and evaluation, and accelerating the formation of carbon monitoring capabilities and teams of skilled professionals.