China: 100 carbon-peaking pilot projects

China to conduct carbon-peaking pilot projects in 100 cities and zones.

On October 20, 2023, China’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published the “National carbon-peaking pilot construction plan” based on the requirements of the “Action plan for carbon dioxide peaking before 2030”. The National Carbon Peak Pilot Construction Plan is a cross-sectoral policy document covering the period of 2023-2030, that aims to explore a viable and widespread nationwide approach to achieve carbon-peaking based on the experience of carbon-peaking pilot projects in 100 selected cities and zones.

On 7 November 2023, China National News reported that NDRC will launch carbon-peaking pilot projects in 100 cities and zones nationwide to solve bottlenecks constraining the country’s green and low-carbon development and explore paths toward carbon-peaking for different areas, according to a plan unveiled Monday.

By 2025, the policy mechanism conducive to green and low-carbon development in the pilot areas will mostly be in place, together with many innovative practices and reform measures that are feasible, replicable, and can be applied elsewhere, said the plan issued by the NDRC.

The plan said paths towards carbon peaking for cities and zones with different resource endowments, development foundations, and industrial structures would be virtually clear by then.

By 2030, primary tasks, projects, and reforms in pilot cities and zones shall be complete, and the policy mechanism conducive to green and low-carbon development shall be fully established, according to the plan, which expects that those innovative practices and reform measures will then play a vital supportive role for carbon peaking at the national level.

The NDRC said the pilot scheme will initially cover 15 provincial regions, considering their total carbon-emission volume and growth trends, as well as local economic and social development status.

The main construction tasks of pilot cities are proposed in the Action Plan, including:

  1. Promote green and low-carbon energy transformation;
  2. Improve the efficiency of energy resource utilization;
  3. Promote the carbon peak in key industries;
  4. Accelerate the low-carbon transformation of urban and rural construction;
  5. Promote green and low-carbon development of transportation.

The Plan proposes to strengthen technological innovation. Pilot cities should strengthen technological support and guidance, and support scientific research institutions, universities, enterprises, and others to carry out applied basic research and key technology research and development around green and low-carbon areas.