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China to create its own system to count carbon emissions

(Xinhua)

09:11, December 14, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- China plans to develop its own new comprehensive system for monitoring and accurately calculating the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a leading Chinese scientist said Tuesday.

There is no comparable system in place currently, and Ding Zhongli, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said its creation will help the country find out exactly how much GHG it emits, knowledge which is an essential basis for China's carbon emission reduction efforts.

Researchers will compile GHG emission lists for quantitative evaluation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated through both natural process and human activities, as part of an ongoing research program led by CAS, Ding told Xinhua.

The list will cover major human activities that cause emissions such as energy utilization, cement production, land use and livestock farming, said Ding.

China also plans to set up a system to monitor atmospheric CO2 concentration through satellite remote sensing, aerial and ground monitoring, and atmospheric modeling, he added.

Research is expected to provide more solid facts for China to deal with climate change-related issues such as carbon reduction and international negotiations, Ding said.

According to the CAS vice president, the expected rapid growth in China's per-capita CO2 emission in the next 10 to 15 years poses challenges for accurate calculation of CO2 emission.

He said many factors, such as technologies used in coal consumption, could lead to miscalculation, thus a misunderstanding of carbon emission by China, which is emerging as a big emitter.

"Steam boilers that cannot burn coal sufficiently in China emit less CO2 than those of developed countries. Deciding emission factors on our own rather than using those of the developed countries can avoid inflating our CO2 emission statistics," said Ding.

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