Companies moved to take action on climate change

Photo taken on Nov 5, 2021 shows handbags printed with environmental-friendly ink at the Low-carbon Energy and Environmental Protection Special Exhibition Area of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

China will introduce more market mechanisms to encourage companies to accelerate their green, low-carbon transitions, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

In recent years, the ministry has announced a series of environmental protection policies to help guide and motivate a green economic transformation. The effects of these policies have materialized gradually, said Sun Shouliang, director of the ministry's comprehensive department, at a news conference on Tuesday.

Over the past three years, companies across the country that lowered their emission levels below national standards have enjoyed tax cuts worth over 13 billion yuan ($1.9 billion), he said.

The ministry has managed to incorporate 16 types of environmentally friendly projects, including carbon capture, use and storage, as well as nine types related to the comprehensive use of resources into the national catalog of programs in which enterprises can participate to receive tax cuts, he added.

In their efforts to build pilot zones to reform the green financing system, the ministry and other government bodies have listed 48 types of projects contributing to national climate targets as those that enjoy preferential financing policies.

Companies engaged in such projects may take advantage of preferential policies, he said.

Most are considered urgent tasks and will require more funding from companies to complete, he added.

China aims to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Sun highlighted the mandatory release of environmental information as an instrument the ministry plans to further tap.

As part of an effort to implement a national guideline on the mandatory release of environmental information, local authorities have specified 85,000 companies required to publish environmental impact data this year, he said.

"We are promoting the construction of a system for the mandatory release of environmental information, and the connection of that system to the National Credit Information Sharing Platform and the Basic Financial Credit Information Database," Sun said, adding that efforts will be accelerated.

He vowed to introduce more policies to accelerate green, low-carbon development. For example, efforts will be made to develop the mechanism for environmental credit ratings.

In another move to promote climate action, the ministry has made significant progress on carbon monitoring, according to Jiang Huohua, deputy director of the ministry's department of environmental monitoring.

The national urban greenhouse monitoring network has 116 stations, 26 of which are high-precision, he said.

He also noted progress in the ministry's pilot programs on carbon monitoring.

Operators of 66 thermal power generation units have voluntarily connected monitoring facilities to the ministry's network, making it possible to automatically obtain hourly emissions data, he said.