V. Developing Low-carbon Pilot Projects
Since 2012, the government has continued to promote low-carbon pilot projects in selected provinces and cities, pushed forward pilot carbon emissions trading programs, researched and developed pilot and demonstration projects such as low-carbon products and communities. It has accumulated experience and laid a firm foundation for dealing with climate change and low-carbon development.
(I) Promoting Low-carbon Pilot Projects in Provinces and Cities
There has been positive development in the first five provinces and eight cities which have test-run low-carbon pilot projects. The designated pilot implemented policies to promote low-carbon development. They innovated systems and mechanisms, launched a series of significant actions and implemented a batch of key projects to optimize the resource structure, promote low-carbon development in industries, and in transportation and construction, lead a low-carbon lifestyle, and increase forest carbon sinks. The results are evident. In 2012, the Chinese government nominated 29 provinces and cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hainan Province and Shijiazhuang as the second batch of locations for low-carbon pilot projects. These pilot areas set positive goals and principles, worked out plans for low-carbon development, and explored low-carbon green development models to fit local circumstances. They established green, environmentally friendly and circular low-carbon industry systems. They established statistics and management systems for greenhouse gas emissions while establishing a system with goals and obligations to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The areas have positively advocated a low-carbon green lifestyle and consumption model. Some of them even proposed curbing the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions and yearly goals for emissions peak.
(II) Pushing Forward Carbon Emissions Trading Pilot Programs
Since 2012, pilot programs for carbon emissions trading in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hubei Province, Guangdong Province and Shenzhen have witnessed positive progress. In October 2012, Shenzhen implemented management rules. From July to August, 2013, Shanghai, Guangdong Province and Hubei Province sought opinions on carbon emissions trading management. Based on their local situations, the designated areas considered goals for energy saving and emissions reductions, economic development trends and the emission levels of enterprises and industries, then worked out a range to cover how many enterprises which fit carbon emissions trading, and eventually researched and determined the trading range and quota allocation. Based on the industries that the trading covered, each pilot area has researched and set up calculation approaches and standards for carbon emissions, and carried out the calculation and checks on the past data of enterprises' carbon emissions. Shanghai issued carbon emission calculation guidelines for industries like steel and electric power in October 2012, while Shenzhen published quantity reports on greenhouse gas emissions according to local standards, and guidelines to check for emissions and detailed rules for the construction industry in November 2012 and April 2013. Shenzhen launched a carbon emissions trading platform in June 2013. Thus far the total trading volume is over 110,000 tons and the turnover is more than 7 million yuan.
(III) Carrying out Low-carbon Pilot Programs in Relevant Areas
Trials of low-carbon product certification. In February 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission and Certification and Accreditation Administration jointly issued the Interim Procedures for the Low-carbon Product Certification Management. Within the first batch of certified products, there are four products including Portland cement, plate glass, aluminum profiles and small and medium three-phase asynchronous motors. The government also began certification trials in Guangdong Province and Chongqing, exploring a good system and environment for enterprises to produce the low carbon products which society is willing to consume.
Trials of low-carbon industrial parks and communities. The National Development and Reform Commission and several other relevant government departments organized studies to establish trials on low-carbon communities and explored the new model to run community low-carbonization management, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions in residential areas and other aspects of life. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission started the trial work in low-carbon industrial experimental zones, and established an evaluation index and support policies for it.
Low-carbon transport pilots. The Chinese government has selected 26 cities such as Tianjin, Chongqing, Beijing and Kunming to establish pilot low-carbon transport systems, with 26 trial projects and 40 transport harbors of drop and pull transport, pushing forward the pilot projects of inland water transportation using boats which consume natural gas, and establishing gas and petroleum pilot recycle stations at crude oil terminals. The government also organized studies to establish an evaluation index system for low-carbon transport cities, ports, and the construction of low-carbon ports and sailing routes and low-carbon highways.
Pilot carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) projects. The National Development and Reform Commission has published the Circular on Promoting the Trials of Carbon Capture, Use and Storage, indicating the recent trial works for promoting the CCUS. It set up the China Technology Innovation Union of Carbon Capture, Use and Storage which was joined by 40 enterprises, colleges and institutions. China has started to use CCUS on projects. Sinopec Group has established the first full-phase demonstration project in China using CCUS for coal-fired power plants. By 2012, Shenhua Group's CCUS demonstration project has stored 57,000 tons of CO2 in total. By June 2013, China's first CO2 geological storage demonstration project in Ordos, Inner Mongolia has sequestrated 120,000 tons of CO2.
Low-carbon pilots in local areas. All provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have practiced low-carbon development according to their local characteristics, and have developed many great experiences and approaches. Sichuan Province designated Chengdu, Guangyuan, Yibin, Suining, Ya'an as the provincial-level pilot low-carbon cities, which should actively explore the low-carbon development models with local features. Anhui Province has explored demonstration and trial low-carbon communities and industrial parks, arranging for special funds to support the construction of complex low-carbon demonstration bases in nine industrial parks and communities in the province. Shandong Province set up a series of special funds for low-carbon development, such as development funds for construction energy conservation and green building development, as well as funds for new energy industries and subsidies for new energy vehicles. The provincial government has strongly supported low-carbon pilot and demonstration projects in key industries and areas such as construction energy saving, reducing the consumption of industry and new energy development.