Will New Limits on Coal Use in China Reduce Toxic Air Pollutants Across Asia?

Archive Project
Will New Limits on Coal Use in China Reduce Toxic Air Pollutants Across Asia?

Focus Areas: 

  • Policy Scenarios
  • Climate Policy
  • Air Quality & Health
  • Regional Analysis

This project quantifies the contribution of newly-enacted Chinese domestic policies to control coal use, and estimates changes in mercury deposition and ambient air quality in China and the greater Asian region. Switching from coal to cleaner sources of energy has the potential to reduce precursors to ozone and particulate matter as well as mercury emissions, but leaves emissions of other precursors unaddressed. To study these dynamics, this project undertakes a combination of empirical analysis and application of advanced modeling techniques. It uses a combination of econometric estimation and modeling approaches to quantify the early impact of China’s Air Pollution Action Plan and related policies, and project impact on the energy system, emissions, and air quality through 2020. Researchers will further focus on changes in coal demand across Asia as Chinese domestic demand and prices fall, and the resulting regional impacts on mercury deposition and air quality. Outputs from this project will include new analysis of the impacts of recent air quality policies in China as well as reports that summarize findings for policymakers. Through direct researcher interaction with stakeholders involved in air pollution policy in mainland China and globally, results will inform the policy process by demonstrating how decisions link to environmental outcomes.

Funding Sources

Project Leaders

IDSS; Joint Program
Sloan; Joint Program