Momentum for Change: Low carbon Xiaolan Initiative

Focus area: Mitigation; Adaptation
Website: Institute for sustainable communities
Website: Institute for sustainable communities, China
Website: Sustainable communities leadership academy
Location: Xiaolan in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China
Established: May 2011

This is the first comprehensive carbon emission inventory measuring indirect emissions (scope 2) at the municipal level in China. The goal of the activity is to support the 12th five-year plan to reduce carbon emissions nationally in China. The activityis a result of a collaborative effort between the Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province, the municipal government of Xiaolan, Institute for Sustainable Communities and a local NGO.

500,000 residents were involved in the programme through a series of promotion and training programs. The awareness-raising and relationship building have built the capacity of civil society organizations and established public participation in governance that are key elements in building adaptive capacity and resilience.

The inventory report provides a comprehensive baseline for carbon emissions in Xiaolan, and a strong basis for low-carbon planning initiatives going forward. The inventory is being updated annually by the town of Xiaolan.

The broad success of the activity has established an important foundation for low carbon development and market transformation in China in alignment with the goals in China's 12th five year plan.


Mitigation / Adaptation


Potential for scaling-up and replication

Following the data analysis in the report, the Xiaolan Government is planning a series of initiatives in the Xiaolan Low Carbon Plan to accelerate the low carbon future. The government is now vigorously promoting low carbon development and urban construction in Xiaolan over the next 3 to 5 years, in order to transform Xiaolan into a low carbon model city in China.

The activitydemonstrates the value of promoting broad public participation in government decision-making, awareness-raising and civil society strengthening. Among the many pioneering efforts of this program was a door-to-door information and data gathering process. This built awareness, buy-in and shared ownership and critical public participation in government development plans.

The positive response to the scope 2 municipal GHG inventory encouraged the Guandong Province authorities to create a provincial carbon cap and trade program. A transformational idea in China, this will serve to catalyze low carbon development, with significant impacts on institutional and market dynamics.

The program will also expand in select cities to explore ways to integrate climate action strategies into cities' master plans, establish effective municipal energy efficiency financing mechanisms, and measure GHG emissions at the city level.