Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

New study: China’s Regulations Unsuccessful in Curbing Methane Emissions

China, already the world’s leading emitter of human-caused greenhouse gases, continues to pump increasing amounts of climate-changing methane into the atmosphere despite tough new regulations on gas releases from its coal mines, a new Johns Hopkins-led study shows.

The study’s findings are published today in Nature Communications.

“Our study indicates that, at least in terms of methane emissions, China's government is ‘talking the talk,’ but has not been able to ‘walk the walk,’” says Scot Miller, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University and the study’s first author.

The research team found that methane emissions rose by approximately 1.1 teragrams each year from 2010 to 2015 in China, resulting in about a 50 percent higher level of annual CHemissions by the end of the period; this increase is comparable to total emissions from countries like Russia or Brazil. Additionally, the researchers found that this increase from China accounts for 11 to 24 percent of the world’s total increase. This increase is consistent with trends prior to China’s 2010 policy implementations, which suggests that the country’s regulations haven’t been effective in slashing methane emissions.

CIRES scientist Stefan Schwietzke is a co-author on this study.

This story was written by Johns Hopkins University communications. Read the full story here.



CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and CU Boulder.