Chen Meian, Hu Min, Institute for Global Decarbonization Progress (iGDP)
Ninety percent of China’s methane emissions from the energy sector originate from coal mining, whereas the number is lower than 30% in Europe and the U.S. The main emission of this kind is from oil and gas extraction. In China’s agriculture, methane emissions mainly arise from animal intestinal fermentation and rice cultivation. Notably, rice cultivation emissions exceed levels in the Europe and the U.S., while animal fermentation emissions are lower. Considering its unique circumstances, China’s newly published “Methane Emission Control Action Plan” (“Plan”) aims to strike a balance between methane emission control and the security of energy, food, industry and production.
If China were to implement key tasks under a new policy scenario, it would see a substantial decrease in methane emissions by 2035 – approximately 260 million tons of CO2e compared to 2022. Compared with a baseline scenario (no new policies), new policy measures would yield a cumulative reduction of about 2.3 billion tons of CO2e from 2022 to 2035. The “Plan” outlines varying types of emission reduction potential across different industries and measures, with the energy sector contributing 66% of the reduction, the agricultural sector 28%, and the waste sector 6%.