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Modelling GHG Emissions of Road Transport in China- New Technical Paper Published

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Due to the rapid economic development in recent years, China is experiencing substantial growth in vehicle population and motorisation, which has lead to a strong increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution. In order to reduce emissions and meet the carbon emission targets, city governments and decision makers are increasingly interested in understanding the effectiveness of transportation measures.

To control and facilitate GHG emissions and pollutants in any form, quantifying the emissions being released is a fundamental requirement. This, in turn, demands data on fleet composition, travel activities, and emission factors. In contrast to Europe and the United States, publicly accessible emission factor databases, particularly for the quantification of traffic-related GHG emissions, are not available in China. There is also no publicly released official tool or inventory model for GHG emissions accounting for mobile sources at the national or regional level.

Therefore GIZ initiated – as one task within the Sino-German cooperation framework – the development of a China transport emission quantification tool by adapting an internationally recognized model to the situation in Chinese cities. After a broad international review of emission factor databases and emission models, the Handbook of Emission Factors for Road Transport (HBEFA) was identified as the most suitable tool for Chinese cities.

The HBEFA was originally developed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agencies of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Other countries (Sweden, Norway, and France) as well as the JRC (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission) are supporting HBEFA. The current version of HBEFA is based on European emission measurement data of vehicles collected within the ERMES group. HBEFA is also the emission factor database for European models such as COPERT and TREMOVE, as well as for national models (e.g. TREMOD in Germany or HBEFA Expert Version in Switzerland and Sweden). Apart from only a few exceptions, HBEFA is the database for all emission quantifications of road transport in Europe.

To develop the CRTEM/HBEFA-China, the European Handbook for Emission Factors (HBEFA) was adapted to the local situation in Chinese cities to provide reliable carbon emission factors for China. This was done by adapting the existing European emission factors to local traffic situations and fleet composition in China. The model facilitates a reliable estimation of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of urban road transport. Equipped with China-specific default values, the model is flexible enough to be used by cities with and without travel demand models. If projections of traffic activity are available, the CRTEM/HBEFA-China can also be easily used to calculate future emission scenarios.

To facilitate the emission calculation, a software package was developed by integrating all components of an emission model with a user friendly interface into the China Road Transport Emission Model CRTEM/ HBEFA-China. This tool was developed within the Microsoft-Access/Visual Basic for Applications environment based on the HBEFA expert version of INFRAS. The prime objective of the model is to estimate road traffic emissions with high temporal and spatial resolution to be used as a tool to assess the impact of urban transport policy on emission reductions.

The technical paper can be downloaded here.

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