Tracing back the smog

Source analysis and control strategies for PM2.5 pollution in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei

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Publication - 2013-12-02
Greenpeace has been co-operating with a team from the University of Leeds, UK, led by Dr. Dabo Guan, with the aim to study PM2.5 sources and control strategies in Jingjinji, since the end of 2012. This project report is the first of its kind to comprehensively analyze PM2.5 sources in the Jingjinji region and to assess to what extend the region should do to reach the air quality targets set by the MEP.

Severe air pollution and its associated health impacts have become of major concern in China, and pollution control measures targeting heavily polluted areas are top of the agenda at all levels of government. In September 2013, the State Council issued The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17), pledging to improve air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area (hereinafter referred to as the “Jingjinji” region), the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.

Soon afterwards, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) released a detailed implementation plan, aiming to reduce PM2.5 levels in Jingjinji by 25% and keep PM2.5 concentration in Beijing from exceeding a level of 60 µg/m3 by 2017. However, even if PM2.5 is reduced by 25% every five years, the National Air Quality Standard Level II of 35 µg/m3 will not be achieved until 2030.

As clear and concrete pollution reduction goals at the central and local government levels are being set, public concern for a deteriorating living environment continue to mount. Due to a lack of detailed analysis on PM2.5 composition and emission sources, little information is available on trends in PM2.5 concentrations, and answers to the questions how much air pollution should be reduced and how to accomplish this reduction remain unclear.

The reality is that achieving the proposed PM2.5 target remains a challenging task, especially considering the need for control measures that reflect the various characteristics of the region. Therefore Greenpeace has been co-operating with a team from the University of Leeds, UK, led by Dr. Dabo Guan, with the aim to study PM2.5 sources and control strategies in Jingjinji, since the end of 2012.

This project report is the first of its kind to comprehensively analyze PM2.5 sources in the Jingjinji region and to assess to what extend the region should do to reach the air quality targets set by the MEP. The report aims to provide insight into PM2.5 pollution in the region, to fuel public debate, and more importantly, to inform and influence decision-makers and stakeholders and provide rationale and support for actions that reduce PM2.5 levels.

Download the executive summary below:

Tracing back the smog

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