How Chengdu is building local capacity for low-carbon development
Research worldwide has shown that residential energy consumption is a major contributor of carbon emissions. However, China is working to break the mold. Earlier this year, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued the Low Carbon Community Pilot Development Guidelines, which contains guidelines that push cities to curb their carbon emissions in residential areas.
Chengdu has already earned outstanding achievements for low-carbon community development, with two local eco-communities selected as national case studies in 2014. Chengdu was also recently chosen as a pilot city of WRI China’s Sustainable and Livable Cities Project. Like many other cities, Chengdu is suffering from rising GHG emissions, greater environmental pollution, and more acute resource shortages. WRI China’s Case Study on Chengdu Low Carbon Development Blueprint shows how the rapidly growing city has experienced increasing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Technical capacity is needed to improve building efficiency, ensure community planning, and develop infrastructure in a way that is appropriate for Chengdu’s unique context. Coinciding with China’s third national Low Carbon Day on June 15th, WRI China organized capacity building workshops to train local planners and researchers on low-carbon community development. With our partners, including the Caterpillar Foundation, our team is developing training programs, a new GHG inventory tool, and proposals for greener regulations to ensure Chengdu reduces emissions at both the city and neighborhood levels, and becomes a more livable place for residents.
Building a better city-level greenhouse gas inventory
Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories enable cities to understand how various urban sectors produce differing levels of emissions so that climate initiatives are targeted. To streamline the process of developing local inventories, WRI, C40 Cities, and ICLEI developed The Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool for Chinese Cities, a product of Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GPC). The tool establishes a robust and clear framework that builds on existing methodologies for calculating and reporting city-wide GHG emissions.
With the new GPC tool and other national and international methodologies, WRI China is working with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on Chengdu’s 2010 inventory to analyze emissions from energy consumption, industry, agriculture, land use, forestry, and waste treatment. The resulting data will serve as a foundation for the Chengdu municipal government to consistently measure and report GHG emissions, informing climate action plans and catalyzing low-emission urban development. In June, WRI China collaborated with partners to provide training workshops to over a hundred Chengdu officials, equipping them with advanced analytical tools and methodologies for policy making.
More information on the Sustainable and Livable Cities project can be found here.