Climate Cooperation China
On behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)

Establishment of Carbon Footprint Management System

China’s Ministry of Ecology and the Environment (MEE) issued a program for a carbon footprint management system to develop low-carbon supply chains. This program of MEE is the first national-level policy to establish a domestic carbon footprint management system.


The target of the program is the establishment of a general standard for product carbon footprint (PCF) accounting with international standards. It will define about 100 carbon footprint accounting standards for key products until 2027 and 200 until 2030.  The basis for a database of PCF calculation factors and a PCF certification and management system shall exist in 2027, while full operationalization is foreseen by 2030.


Main working streams include the development of a general standard for carbon footprint accounting as well as the formulation of specific standards focusing on main commodities and products such as electricity, coal, natural gas, fuel oil, steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizer, hydrogen, lime, glass, ethylene, ammonia and methanol. In addition, standards will be developed for complex goods such as lithium batteries, electric and fuel cell vehicles, photovoltaics, and electronic appliances. A system for disclosing carbon footprint information needs to be implemented as well.


Other measures include the integration of carbon footprint management with other national policies, increasing financial support for relevant sectors, and expanding the use of PCF. Regional pilots shall be developed and carbon footprint accounting capacities in industry and service providers should be enhanced.  The improvement of data quality as well as data and intellectual property protection are other focal points.


To align its domestic carbon footprint system, China will increasingly follow global carbon-related trade policies such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and international standards on PCF. In turn, China also aims to play a more active role in developing and shaping international carbon footprint standards and practices to achieve mutual recognition of carbon footprint rules.


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