Other agencies as appropriate
Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, and other agencies as appropriate
This effort assumes that clean air remains a priority for the U.S. and China during the next decade. It is a “living” document and is subject to periodic reprioritization by consent of the two parties as well as the availability of resources (budget/personnel) of participating Chinese and US Government agencies. Except as otherwise agreed, each side will finance expenses of its own nationals.
The 4th China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) was held in Annapolis in Maryland of the United States during June 17-18, 2008. As the special representatives of President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China and US President Bush, Vice Premier Wang Qishan of the State Council and US Secretary of the Treasury Paulson co-chaired the Dialogue. The two countries signed the China-US Framework of 10-Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment (TYF). As an important topic of SED, energy and environment project cooperation have obtained success with important findings in its first stage cooperation program——China-US Joint Economic Study on Pollution Abatement (JES) carried out in 2007, which was spoken highly of by leaders of the governments. Based on the TYF, the two sides, after the negotiation between Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and USEPA (hereinafter referred to as “the parties”), are willing to carry out practical cooperation in the following six areas: SO2 emission trade in the power industry, control of vehicle emissions, regional air environmental management, control of NOx emissions, control of ozone and particulate pollution and assessment of the policy on the control of air pollutants.
Cooperation between the two countries began well before the SED was initiated. The parties have established a well-functioning relationship under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Environmental Protection (EPA) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP; formerly the State Environmental Protection Administration, or SEPA) on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Environment that was signed in 2003. A Clean Air and Energy Working Group under the MOU has fostered a great deal of cooperation between the two countries since its establishment in 2003, with regular meetings, conferences, personnel exchanges, and technical assistance.
Due to the breadth of issues covered in the TYF Action Plan for Clean Air, both countries recognize the need for active consultation on setting near and longer-term priorities, taking into consideration the availability of resources (both human and capital). The two countries also acknowledge that the issue of other pollutants reductions, while not discussed in detail in the current plan, may be incorporated into work on existing areas of cooperation (e.g., programs that consider the co-benefits of addressing conventional and other pollutants at the same time), depending on the results of discussions within or outside the SED process between the two countries.
Air pollution became a concern in China in 1970s and the prevention and control of air pollution has been gradually carried out in an all round way since that time. After more than 30 year’s unremitting efforts, the prevention and control of air pollution in China has experienced such transformations as from point source control to concentrated control and comprehensive prevention and treatment; from urban environment comprehensive control to regional pollution control; from pollutant concentration control to total amount control. The laws, regulations, standards, and management system for the prevention and control of air pollution have been taken shape and the worsening trend of air pollution has been abated in certain degree and range. The control of air pollution is gradually being integrated with economic and social development and following the path of sustainable development. However, with rapid economic development, new air environmental problems occur in a combined, complex, and condense fashion. Thus, China is facing new challenges in environmental management.
Over 40% cities in China fail to meet Grade II National Air Quality Standard. Air particles are still the primary pollutant affecting urban air quality of most cities in China with increasing impact of particulate on air quality. Over the past decade, there is no obvious improvement in urban SO2 pollution and no fundamental change of the basic feature of urban soot pollution in cities with heavy SO2 pollution. NO2 pollution is relatively slight. However, NO2 concentrations in big cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Chongqing are relatively high with rising trend year on year. Ozone and smog pollution caused by NOx and VOC becomes increasingly pre-eminent. There is basically no change of the regional distribution of acid rain with some aggravation in local areas.
At present, China is at the stage of rapid economic development. It is estimated that total energy demand will reach 2.32～3.1 billion tons of coal equivalent in 2020, 90% of which is fossil fuel. It can be expected that the emission of main acid-rain-causing substances (SO2 and NOx) will continuously rise. If no decisive and effective control measures are taken, acidification trend in China will be further aggravated, leading to bigger threat to the ecological environment of China, which is under mounting pressure.
China has done a lot in the control of acid rain over the past three decades. These efforts include major scientific studies on relevant topics, the development of the “two control areas (control acid rain and SO2 pollution)” program aiming at major control of SO2 emission within the areas from the 6th Five-Year Plan to 9th Five-Year Plan period. With rapid economic growth and increase of cars, energy consumption continuously goes up with the rise of NOx (another substance causing acid rain) emission, which leads to the rise of atmospheric oxidation capacity and concentration of acid particulates. At the same time, suspended particles in ambient air, which can neutralize acid rain, are going down year on year due to government control measures. These factors make the acid rain problem more complicated compared with that of 20 years ago. Monitoring data of the past few years show that acid rain in China is worsening rather than under basic control. Facing grave situation in atmospheric environment, China urgently needs the development of policy based on fundamental scientific study and adapting to new situation and introduction of new management mechanism and tools in order to facilitate the improvement of atmospheric environment quality.
The following are important measures and policies on the control of air pollution that China is going to carry out in the near future:
(1) Power industry is big emission sources of SO2 and NOx in China, accounting for over 50% and 30% respective of the total. Therefore, controlling total emissions of SO2 and NOx of power industry is the key to abate the threat of acid rain. To control the total SO2 emission amount in power industry, lower the cost of SO2 emission control, optimize the distribution of environmental resources and achieve healthy and sustained development of thermal power industry, China is going to carry out trial work of SO2 emission trade mechanism in the power industry.
(2) In view of rapid growth of private cars, strengthening the control of vehicle emission is an important measure for reducing urban air pollution. Starting from the development of regulations, standards, control technology and capacity, China will enhance the management of new vehicles, strengthen the supervision and management of in-service vehicles, and lower emission intensity in order to improve urban environmental quality.
(3) To enhance scientific support to pollution control and address regional atmospheric environment issue, we need to study factors affecting regional atmospheric environment quality, understand long-term transportation pattern of pollutants, quantify the degree of the impacts of each kind of pollutant on the environment and take scientific and appropriate control strategy and measures.
(4) Control of NOx emission. The control of ozone and particulate pollution becomes an important work to improve atmospheric environment in China. China needs continuous enhancement of the control of NOx, ozone and particulate pollution in the future. These emissions arise from transportation, stationary, and area sources.
Air pollution control and environmental management in the United States is one cycle earlier than that of China due to the time difference of industrialization process. Therefore, there is much experience in such areas as policy and regulations, development of standard system, management system and control technologies for the prevention and control of air pollution that China could learn from.
The United States has good foundation and achievements in such areas as the research on the cause of regional acid rain, transportation of acid rain causing substances (ARCS), deposition mechanism, transboundary impacts and the control of regional acid rain. It has developed a long-term plan for the control of acid rain and made remarkable outcomes with it. To abate the threat of acid rain and control total emission of ARCS, the United States has successfully introduced the emission trading mechanism. The implementation of the emission trading mechanism has dramatically reduced the total emission of SO2 and NOx, the threat of acid rain and the cost of pollution abatement.
The control of ozone pollution in the United States began with the control of VOCs. With higher requirement for air quality standard, USEPA adopted control measures for NOx, another pollutant causing ozone pollution. In 1998, USEPA developed the state implementation plan for NOx, which mainly aims to address the NOx transboundary transportation and development of ozone pollution problem in eastern areas. A total of 20 states and the District of Columbia subject to the problem have adopted the total emission control and emission trading system based on market mechanism to reduce NOx emissions from power industry and other big industrial sources in each state of eastern part of the United States. In 2006, total NOx emissions in the region went down by 60% compared with that in 2000. Different from SO2 trading system, the current trading system takes account of the real emission of each state and seasonal difference. In carrying out each State’s implementation plan for ozone, efforts will be taken to further reduce NOx emission in order to address the ozone level beyond the regional problem in eastern part of the United States.
The United States is also a country that carries out the most extensive and intensive studies on inhalable air particulate pollution. It has conducted a series of field observation test since the mid of 1990s and made important progress in such aspects as physical property, chemical composition and source analysis of PM2.5 and its relations with other pollutants as well as its impacts on health. These have provided basis for the development of air quality standard, environmental management approach, assessment and monitoring technique as well as appropriate regulation measures. To reduce the adverse impacts of particulate matter on human health, the United States developed atmospheric environment quality standard for PM2.5 in 1997, and tightened this standard in 2006. The standard is currently being applied in the United States, and China could learn from the positive results of this experience.
At present, the United States is the country with the strongest capacity in monitoring and control of vehicle emissions and has the most stringent vehicle emission standards in the world for a variety of sources, including light-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road sources (such as construction equipment). The United States has implemented an integrated approach to clean fuels and vehicles development, ensuring that high quality, low sulfur fuel is available in the market place before new emission standards are implemented. The United States also has the longest durability requirements for emission control devices in the world. USEPA has a vehicle emission and fuel laboratory, with a world-class reputation, and has established a set of advanced mechanisms including supervision and inspection, research and development, and training. With more than 30 year’s experience in the control and management of vehicle emissions, it has developed a scientific and well-established management system and regulation system with good outcomes in the pollution control of vehicle emission. Its experience and lessons are worthy of introduction by China.
The development of laws and regulations on environmental protection is the solid foundation for the control of air pollution in the United States. The Fourth Amendments of “Clean Air Act” in 1990 have laid a good foundation for the control of acid rain and ground-level ozone concentrations. The pending “Clean Air Inter-state Rule (CAIR)” integrates multiple pollutants into a comprehensive pollution prevention and control approach that encourages innovation to reduce emissions. Comprehensive emissions monitoring of sources and air quality monitoring stations across the United States have provided data support to the demonstration of these innovative approaches and technologies.
The bilateral cooperation will facilitate the exchange and sharing of the experience in such fields as policy, regulations, standard, technical methods and management measures on the control of air pollution between China and the United States; jointly promote the improvement of air quality and create a good atmospheric environment for sustainable and healthy development of mankind. The specific cooperation objectives are the followings:
1. The bilateral exchange will facilitate the understanding about the control and management of air pollution of the other party and introduction of US experience in the management and control of regional air pollution, including the control of acid rain, ozone, inhalable particulate matter and vehicle emissions, the assessment of pollutant interrelationships, etc. The focuses will be the exchange of the experience in the development of relevant policies and regulations, and scientific basis, research methods, achievements and conclusions serving as the basis for each policy and regulation. It is expected that the bilateral exchange will improve the capacity of Chinese counterparts in the study and development of relevant policies.
2. Exchange the experience in emission trading. Based on summarization and study the US experience in carrying acid rain initiative and emission trade, China will set up its work platform for emission trade. Combining the control system of total emissions of key pollutants in China, China will conduct the trial on SO2 emission trade in power industry with the purpose of meeting the target of total amount control with low total social cost, facilitating appropriate distribution of environmental resources and promoting healthy and clean development of power industry.
3. Exchange of experience regarding technical methods for the control and management of various types of vehicles used to move goods and people and to perform heavy-duty work (e.g., construction equipment) and the method to set up a standard system. China will study US experience in the management and control of vehicle emissions and in enforcement and compliance assistance, enhance its capacity in vehicle management, improve the regulations, policy and standard system on the management of vehicles and raise its management level.
4. Strengthen scientific cooperation on the control of air pollution. Efforts will be made to investigate and study ozone and particulate pollution and put forward ambient air quality standard suitable to practical situation of China. We will carry out simulation study on regional air quality, analyze regional air pollution transport mechanism and atmospheric environment sensitivity in order to create conditions for scientific decision making and management.
5. Based on current NOx emission in China and US experience in NOx control, the two sides will exchange the measures and technologies on NOx control and prevention and control of ozone pollution and carry out effective control on NOx emissions.
6. Improve the capacity in policy assessment. The Chinese counterparts will learn US experience and methods in such aspects as atmospheric environment policies and their interrelationships, development and assessment of standard for atmospheric environment, raise Chinese capacity in the development and analysis of atmospheric environment policies and gradually formulate policy assessment method and mechanism that adapt to practical situation of China.
Specific areas of cooperation will initially include: market-based policies for pollution prevention and control from electricity generation and industrial sources; control of vehicle emissions; regional air quality management; control of NOx emissions; ozone and particulate pollution management; and Assessment of the Policy on the Control of Air Pollution.
Based on the current trial work on SO2 emission trade in power industry of China, we will strengthen China-US cooperation in this field and facilitate the establishment of market-based policies and the management systems to support them, starting with the SO2 emission trading system in power industry that meets Chinese national conditions. Future activities may explore how to use market-based policies, such as emission trading, with other pollutants that are priorities for China, such as NOx.
The initial phase of cooperation includes the following:
1. Technical cooperation on the design of SO2 emission trade framework in power industry. The focus will be the exchange of US experience in emission trade and Chinese experience in the demonstration project on emission trade. We will carry out case study on the design of US SO2 emission trade scheme and put forward the framework of SO2 emission trade scheme for power industry of China.
2. Technical cooperation and training on the implementation of SO2 emission trade scheme. The training mainly includes such contents as analysis of the key elements involving the design of emission trade scheme, management software and procedures of such scheme as well as practical operation of the scheme. Meanwhile, we will conduct bilateral personnel exchange to study specific operations of the design and implementation of emission trade scheme.
3. Exchange of the experience in the monitoring, report and calibration system for SO2, NOx, and other emissions in power industry. The focus will be the experience in the measurement of emissions during the implementation of the emission trade scheme, including CEM certification, calibration and testing procedures. Training on field examination will be carried out to study and discuss such elements as notification of emission data, management tools and procedures. The focus will be the development of the application tools and programs for the report, management, and QA of emissions data.
4. Exchange and study in relation to capacity building in the management and supervision of emission trade programs as well as the meeting-standard assessment. Relevant staff will be trained to raise their capacity.
5. Exchange and study on cost-benefit analysis and macro economic analysis on the impacts of the emission trade scheme on the environment, human health and economy. Based on the program design of emission trade scheme, we will employ models to analyze the cost and benefits of China emission trading schemes as well as the economic impacts.
In subsequent phases of cooperation, China and the US will explore options for using market-based policies, such as emissions trading, to control other pollutants, such as NOx. This subsequent cooperation may include:
1. Assessing the potential for market-based policies to cost-effectively control pollution from power plants and industrial sources in China.
2. Analyzing the costs, benefits, and economic impacts of possible policy approaches.
3. If China pursues market-based policies for other pollutants, technical assistance on the design of cost-effective and credible policies and management systems for the program(s).
Control of vehicle emissions is a critical challenge for China, as the number of vehicles continues to grow at very high rates. The United States has much experience that could be shared with China in terms of laws, regulations, and other programs and policies aimed at reducing the contribution of the transportation sector (from both fuels and vehicles) to urban and regional air pollution. Specific areas of cooperation will initially include: vehicle regulations and standards including compliance and enforcement; vehicle emission control technologies; and the development of a national technical center for the control of vehicle emissions and related professional capacity. The development of a road map for clean fuels and vehicles, which would include sulfur limits of 50 ppm or less in gasoline and diesel, was recognized as an outcome of SED III. The work on development of such a road map, which will be carried out under the TYF Clean and Efficient Transportation Action Plan, is recognized here as an essential component of advancing vehicle emission control in China.
1. Exchange and cooperation on the regulations and standards on the control of vehicle pollution, in order to reduce pollution from the transportation sector within China. China and US will strengthen their cooperation and exchange on the management system and regulation system, including compliance and enforcement, for the control of vehicle emission pollution in order to obtain better result in emission reduction. The main cooperation and exchange activities are the followings:
a) Measures on the supervision and management of the consistency of the production of new vehicles;
b) Measures on the supervision and management of the compliance of in-service vehicles, including inspection and maintenance programs and vehicle recall programs;
c) Measures on the supervision and management of the evaporation of vehicle fuel;
d) Standard for the control of hazardous substances in vehicle fuel and additives;
e) Durability requirements for emission control devices;
f) Technical specifications on environmental protection performance of reference fuel in emission test;
g) Technical guidance on the assessment of vehicle pollution;
h) Technical guidance on the assessment of environment-friendly vehicles.
2. Clean technology on the control of vehicle emissions. Technology on the control of vehicle emissions serves as the basic foundation for the prevention and control of pollution from vehicles. At present, there is a relatively big gap compared with that of developed countries. Understanding the development of international advanced clean technologies on the control of vehicle emissions will be conducive to the planning for the control of vehicle pollution and development and innovation of emission standards in the next stage. Technical contents subject to the exchange program include the following:
a) technical development of vehicle on-board diagnostic systems (OBD);
b) technical development of portable emission measurement system (PEMS);
c) development of the technology controlling the evaporation of vehicle fuel;
d) development of a model study on vehicle emission factors;
e) testing technology on vehicle fuel and additives;
f) technology on the assessment of post-emission devices;
g) technology on the assessment of pollution control of vehicles using new energy.
3. High level capacity in the monitoring of vehicle pollution and a professional team are an important guarantee for effective prevention and control of vehicle emission pollution. At present, there is a big gap between China and the international advanced level in terms of facilities and management system. Therefore, we must speed up the development of a national technical center for the control of vehicle emission pollution and cultivation of a professional team. The main exchange and cooperation activities are the following:
a) US consultation on development of an MEP lab for vehicle emissions and fuel quality;
b) assessment of the capacity of existing labs for vehicle emissions and fuel quality;
c) organization of China-US lab comparison tests on vehicle emissions and fuel quality;
d) establishment of an information exchange mechanism for the control of vehicle emissions and fuel quality;
e) training for Chinese scientist and engineers;
f) invitation to US experts to participate in lectures and exchange activities in China.
China and the United States have jointly held “International Workshop on the Management of Regional Air Quality” four times since 2005, which have built a good platform for the Chinese and US counterparts to exchange their experience in the management of regional air quality and discuss policies, regulations and technologies on the control of regional air pollution. To comprehensively understand and ultimately address regional air quality challenges in China, China and the United States will cooperate to strengthen fundamental research into such aspects as identifying sources and pathways, environmental fate, time and spatial distribution, transportation patterns, precipitation characteristics, health and ecological impacts. China and the United States will also share information about approaches to regional cooperation to address these regional air quality challenges. Key areas of cooperation may include acid rain, ground-level ozone, fine particulates (regional haze), mercury, and other air quality issues. These activities will help China develop a scientific foundation for government decision making. The main activities of the initial phase of cooperation are the following:
1. Technical assistance and studies on the assessment of pollutant transport and its effect on air quality, the environment, and human health.
2. Studies and information exchanges on the primary and secondary impacts of conventional and other pollutants (e.g., SO2, NOx, and mercury).
3. Information exchange on institutions, laws, regulations, and policies for regional air quality management. This may include studies on regional coordinated control mechanisms in areas with regional air pollution challenges.
4. Technical assistance on assessing the costs, benefits, and economic impacts of pollution control policies, including the co-benefits of integrated environmental strategies and forecasts on future emissions and environmental quality using models customized for Chinese data and conditions.
NOx becomes one of major air pollutants in China, imposing increasing impacts on the environment. At present, MEP has initiated the control of NOx pollutants. It will strengthen the legislation and development of relevant standard for NOx control in the near future. The US experience demonstrates that integrated emission control configurations can cost-effectively reduce multiple pollutants. For example, in the United States, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx in combination with wet flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) for SO2, can reduce SO2, NOx, particulate matter, and mercury emissions by more than 95%, 90%, 50%, and 50%, respectively.
Cooperation on NOx policies and impacts is already listed in subsections A and C. This subsection will include cooperation activities focused on the following aspects:
1. Technical assistance on the establishment of on NOx emission standards for power plants and key industrial sources;
2. Staff exchanges, technical information, and training on NOx and multi-pollutant control technologies.
Urban air pollution in China has gradually shifted from pure soot pollution into combined pollution with growing trends of ozone and particulate pollution. China is in need of work in this field, including learning successful experiences of developed countries including the United States. The cooperation activities in this field mainly will center on the following areas:
1. Technical assistance for study on air quality standard. Targeting on the problems of existing national air quality standard of China, we will exchange the practice on air quality standard, integrate the information about the study on ozone and particulate pollution; study and analyze ozone and particulate pollution status and their sources as well as their impacts on human health, environment and ecological system. Cooperation may include technical advice and assistance to China on studying a PM2.5 environmental air quality standard meeting national conditions of China.
2. Technical assistance and studies about the formation of ozone and particulate in China’s air, their reaction characteristics and internal relations to typical air pollution as well as future emission trend in China. Other aspects may include the changing trends of secondary pollution over the next 5-20 years.
3. Control measures to reduce major precursor air pollutants, including structural adjustments to the industrial base and energy development strategy, as well as strategies for reducing precursor air pollutant emissions from vehicles.
Presently, China has taken many policy instruments to control the emissions of air pollutants, including emission standard, administrative orders and economic policies, etc. The assessment of the implementation outcomes of those policies and measures will serve as important basis for scientific decision making in the future. Cooperation activities in this area will mainly focus on sharing information about how policy effectiveness is measured, including the tracking of air quality trends (trends analysis) and compliance with air quality standards.