Promoting low-carbon development (LCD) is one of the basic requirements of building new-type urbanization with Chinese characteristics. Research on the formulation of low-carbon city development roadmap (hereinafter referred to as the “Roadmap”) is a necessity for systematic control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and the construction of low-carbon cities. Based on the actual conditions of cities as well as the regional and national development strategies, the Roadmap panoramically describes the strategic objectives, development plans, and key sectors' initiatives for the transformation of city development through planning techniques and solutions. Generally, the formulation of a low-carbon roadmap involves six steps: understanding the present situation of GHG emissions; analyzing the future emission scenarios; setting LCD targets; developing action plans for key sectors; assessing mitigation potential of low-carbon technologies/projects; and proposing measures for implementation. This paper, based on the practical experience in low-carbon city roadmap development and the needs of divisional management, establishes an analytical structure of GHG inventory for seven sectors, so as to link the key sectors for LCD, namely the seven major sectors for emissions reduction proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Moreover, this paper integrates sectorial (industrial) low-carbon technology needs assessment (TNA) into the formulation of the Roadmap. It also provides several recommendations for better incorporating the two methods into the Roadmap: firstly, to strengthen the core function of GHG inventory by enhanced accounting quality and scientific and systematic analysis of the temporal and sectorial distribution of GHG emissions so as to serve the Roadmap formulation and decision-making. Secondly, to reinforce the derivative function of GHG inventory that serves the LCD planning, assessment, and decision-making by improving the quality and continuity of GHG inventory. Thirdly, to develop the derivative function of GHG inventory by integrating the improved GHG inventory and TNA into the formulation of the Roadmap.

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