Environment ministry slams companies for falsified emissions data

China’s environment ministry has issued a statement naming and shaming four auditing companies for falsifying their clients’ carbon emissions data. 

“Accurate and reliable data is the lifeline for the effective operation of the national emissions trading scheme… [which is] an important policy tool in the realisation of carbon peaking and neutrality,” the ministry stated on Monday 14 March.

After many years of delay, the national carbon market began trading last year. It currently covers only the power sector – China’s largest source of emissions – and will expand sector by sector in the coming years.

From October to December last year, 31 inspection teams from the ministry carried out investigations around the country to verify companies’ reported carbon emissions. Their work included sampling and quality testing coal, checking data and verifying information supplied in reporting forms.

Publishing full details of the falsifications, the ministry put a spotlight on four companies: Zhongtan Nengtou, SinoCarbon Innovation & Investment Co, Qingdao Xinuo Renewable Co, and Liaoning Dongmei Testing and Analysis Research Institute. The companies were involved in various forms of fabricating data on coal consumption, coal quality and electricity usage, as well as doctoring dates of samplings and inspections. Some of this involved photoshopping reporting forms. Clients of the companies include major emitters covered by the carbon market.

In a response to the ministry’s statement, issued on the very same day, Sinocarbon admitted its errors and listed the steps it will take to “rectify” the problems. 

The ministry said it will continue its inspections of companies’ reported carbon emissions, as well as work with other departments to strengthen oversight of emissions reporting. This will be critical to ensuring trust in the world’s largest emissions trading scheme.

Read more about China’s enormous carbon market on China Dialogue here.