Based on China’s latest available GHG emissions inventory (2005), 1.5% of the total Chinese CO2 emissions originated from the waste sector, amounting to 111 Mt CO2e per year. By 2025, due to the rapid urbanization, the number of city dwellers in China is expected to reach 1 billion people. Against the backdrop of continuous economic growth, this will lead to the increase in the amount of waste generated, collected and treated, which will subsequently create a substantial annual emission reduction potential from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management estimated at the level of 236.3 Mt CO2e. If realized, this amount will cover almost 1/5 of the Chinese Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

China is currently strengthening its efforts to reduce GHG emissions from the waste sector and increase the usage of urban waste for the production of energy. However, this transformation faces technical and capacity challenges. The “China Integrated Waste Management NAMA Support Project” (IWM NAMA) aims to address the existing weaknesses of the MSW management systems in three to five demonstration municipalities and showcase how integrated approach can pave the way towards the low-carbon waste sector operated as a profitable business case.


The aim of the project is to capitalise on the significant Chinese investments in the waste sector by introducing best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) in integrated waste management in three to five demonstration municipalities. The intent is to increase the capacity of the sector stakeholders through appropriate training approaches as well as support municipalities in building up IWM by providing tailor-made technical assistance in order to find the most effective and the least emission intensive ways to treat various waste streams. Policy recommendations to the Chinese government will facilitate further dismantling of the existing barriers hindering the sector’s transformation. Last but not least, by making available new income streams (i.e. energy generation and participation in emission trading schemes) as well as a matching private sector interests with the needs of municipalities, the IWM NAMA will support up-scaling of the integrated waste management solutions in China.

Initially, the potential direct GHG emission reductions stemming from the project were estimated at a level of 220,000 to 440,000 t CO2e per year. After conducting a baseline study in the actual project demonstration municipalities, the number has risen to 433,100 – 736,270 t CO2e/year. Beyond that, enhancements in the MSW management will bring significant co-benefits such as reduced leakage-induced groundwater pollution, improved food safety and lower level of PM2.5 air pollution.

Download IWM NAMA Project Brochure