Despite continuous challenges accompanying the joint work with demonstration cities with respect to the ongoing pandemic, the implementation of the project in 2021 continued rather successfully.
The year 2021 marked important legislative developments in China, including the release of updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. The 14th Five Year Plan issued in the beginning of 2021 refined the national vision and priorities in decarbonization for the next five years. In mid-2021, China’s national emission trading system started operating, bringing the world’s largest emission trading system online after three years of preparation. Last but not least, the Circular Economy Development Plan and the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 were adopted in 2021, the second including ambitious goals for waste management and recycling.
All five demonstration cities of the NAMA support project, namely Suzhou, Xi’an, Bengbu, Lanzhou and Taian, have made a good progress towards a low-carbon integrated waste management, totalling in a cumulative direct reduction of approximately four million tons of CO2e since the beginning of the project. This can be broken down into around 2,300,000 t CO2e achieved in the demonstration cities in the current reporting period, around 1,600,000 t CO2e achieved in 2020 and a minor part of < 100,000 t CO2e achieved in 2019. In 2021, the highest achievement of around 1,600,000 t CO2e (70%) comes from the largest demonstration city, Xi’an. Here, the NSP provided technical assistance for newly constructed waste-to-energy (incineration) facilities in four districts and also for four organic waste treatment plants that are in pilot operation phase since April 2021.
Thanks to this year’s awareness raising activities, the policymakers broadened their understanding of key concepts in waste management, such as the waste hierarchy and the waste segregation at source as a prerequisite for a successful low-carbon integrated waste management system.
Six new municipalities have expressed an interest in applying the integrated waste management solutions from the NAMA project, but also, the NAMA project’s impact has reached beyond the waste sector. The Measuring, Reporting and Verification methodology developed within the NAMA project has received broad attention as a possible new business model, for example in the textile industry.
We are continuing in this sense also in 2022!