Climate change mitigation in land use

Project description

Title: Low-carbon land use (LoCLU)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: China
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)
Overall term: 2012 to 2016


China’s greenhouse gas emissions pollute the environment and reduce people’s quality of life, while also damaging the country’s reputation as a responsible member of the international community. The 12th Five-Year Plan aims to reverse these trends and pave the way for a low-carbon economy.

Strategic components include international cooperation in accordance with the principle of the ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ of industrialised and developing countries, and the establishment of an emissions trading system. This requires the collection of corresponding greenhouse gas data and setting up the associated measuring, reporting and verification systems. With respect to land use, the focus is on reducing emissions in the agricultural sector, carbon storage in the forestry sector, standards for the rehabilitation of post-mining landscapes, and international climate change mitigation pilot projects.


Policy-makers have strategies for low-carbon land-use options at their disposal.


The project pursues a two-pronged approach, based on international standards (for instance the Verified Carbon Standard) and lessons learned on the ground. Measures are demonstrated in selected provinces at district level in order to feed verifiable facts and figures into policy advising. The approach comprises four project activities:

  • Greenhouse gas reduction: Demonstration of low-carbon measures in agriculture and forestry, including participatory measuring, reporting and verification processes and identification of baselines
  • Greenhouse gas accounting: Identification of greenhouse gas inventory systems, including quantification of reduction targets within China’s institutional context
  • Incentives: Development of business models in the agricultural and forestry sectors to support future trading of emissions certificates
  • Rehabilitation of post-mining landscapes: Identification of low-carbon activities in relation to the restoration of post-mining landscapes, including the development of a technical guideline.
    The National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Land and Resources and the State Forestry Administration are key project partners.


Guidelines have been adopted on forest carbon accounting, low-carbon land consolidation and rehabilitation of mining areas.

Regulatory strategies have been formulated as policy briefs. They provide recommendations on adapting the promotional instruments which are designed to support dissemination of the respective land-use models.

Decision-makers have participated in expert meetings and study tours, and have undergone further training on climate change mitigation issues. Various land-use options have been demonstrated to decision-makers on the basis of international benchmarks.