On 12-13 October 2009 ICAP held its China Conference on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data Management in Energy Intensive Industries and the Power Sector in Beijing.

The conference was co-hosted by the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET).

Supporters of the conference were the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning of Ministry of Environmental Protection (CAEP), Center for Environmental Education & Communications (CEEC) of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD), City University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Tsinghua University, World Resources Institute, China, and WWF China.

The conference’s program, presentations and report are available for download below.

Background

Good data management is central to any mitigation activity. Achieving this is a challenge for all of us. Carbon accounting through accurate measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) is fundamental to achieving credible emissions reductions - whether the emission reductions are allowances or offset credits to be traded or sold in a global market. Harmonizing or making standards compatible globally (developed and developing countries alike) for MRV becomes key to ensuring that a "ton of carbon" has the same meaning throughout the world, and that the units are fully fungible. This is the first conference of its kind that will bring together experts in MRV from developed and developing countries - both government officials and industry experts to engage in technical capacity building discussions on MRV.

Summary of the outcomes of the conference

Over 120 participants discussed their experience and perspectives regarding the importance of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) to achieving credible emissions reductions.
Overall, the following key points were made during the conference:
  • China is working with countries and organizations around the world to share lessons and avoid mistakes as it develops its own MRV but it still faces many great challenges. These relate to its complex industrial make-up and level of development which makes the collection, management and calculation of GHG data tremendously difficult.
  • Government leadership is critical in setting clear direction for industry to follow. More specifically this includes the provision of legislation that reduces uncertainties, guidelines and capacity building to assist industry, as well as a system of rewards and penalties to ensure accurate and trustworthy data is provided.
  • Centralized data management systems enable good data flow and analysis, and can provide opportunities for automated quality checks, benchmarking as well as provide important information for target setting.
  • Whilst the need for third-party verification was shown to be different within different MRV programs depending on what the data was for, verification was shown to have important benefits not only to improve the quality and reliability of data, but also to help more effectively link energy and material costs with reduced emissions.
  • The use of international standards and methodologies is important as it enables greater cooperation, accountability and trust to develop between countries as well as within carbon markets.