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Implementing Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management Systems for Economic Zones in China

China is aggressively pursuing the development of low-carbon economic zones, and while there has been substantial work done to define targets and indicators for achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, there is now a need to provide guidance and tools to help the zones transition. 

GHG inventories for industrial and commercial facilities are an essential component of the transition to low-carbon operations, as they provide the foundation for identifying abatement opportunities while measuring and assessing progress towards achieving facility-level GHG targets. A GHG inventory system that provides for frequent, accurate, consistent, complete and transparent reporting is crucial to the success of these low-carbon policies and central to industries transitioning to low-carbon operations.

Inventory management requires many different stakeholders to supply information, conduct analyses, provide critical reviews and expert judgements, manage the compilation of the inventory and disseminate inventory data to stakeholders. The intent of this paper is to identify concrete steps that economic zones overseeing low-carbon development and companies included in low-carbon programs can implement in order to establish an effective GHG inventory management system. Typical barriers and gaps that economic zones may face in implementing GHG inventory systems are also addressed. 

A collaborative approach between the economic zones that have the authority to manage and report GHG emissions and the companies that must deliver them is presented in this policy brief. The approach is based on best practices and formal standards for GHG inventory development. The guidance presented is oriented to help zones and their member companies to develop emission inventories for a wide range of GHG programs, such as carbon trading, absolute caps and performance standards, which we refer to in this document as program rules. These program rules may evolve from either regional initiatives or national directives. This guidance will help both authorities and companies in economic zones understand the basic concepts related to inventory planning, development and management, as well as how to monitor, report and verify emissions.

Section 2 of the report provides an overall conceptual framework for the development and implementation of a GHG inventory system for economic zones. Section 3, 4 and 5 then outline process steps associated with planning, inventory development and reporting by covered entities and zone management.   

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