AbstractConsidering the little attention given to building China's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories, a long timescale and detailed GHG inventory is presented based on the latest released official statistical data in China from 1990 to 2013. GHG emissions estimated by different versions of statistical data are compared and analyzed, and the effects of data adjustment on GHG emission reduction targets are discussed. The inventory covers the sources of energy activities, industrial processes, agricultural activities, waste treatments, and reports four types of GHGs: CO2, CH4, N2O, and F‐GHGs. The total GHG emissions in China increased from 3487.7 Mt CO2‐eq in 1990 to 12550.2 Mt CO2‐eq in 2013. As the largest emission source, energy activities increased its share from 77.8% to 82.1% during the period. In GHG gas type, CO2 emissions accounted for 86.2% of the total in 2013, followed by CH4 (8.1%), N2O (3.3%) and F‐GHGs (2.4%). CO2 emissions were mainly emitted from energy activities, while the total CH4 emissions were essentially determined by sources of coal mining, enteric fermentation and rice cultivation. Both direct emission from agricultural lands and adipic acid production accounted for over 50% of N2O emissions. China's F‐GHG emissions increased by 129.3 times during the period. In addition, after the energy data revision, CO2 emissions from energy activities was estimated significantly larger than most previous studies. The data revision also had a profound effect on the accomplishment of CO2 emission reduction target in relative quantity. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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