Health Impact and Control Policy of Air Pollution in Shanxi, China
Appears in the following Collection
- Kjemisk institutt 
AbstractFacing the increasing environmental degradation locally and globally, the Chinese government sets mandatory goals of 10% reduction of SO2 emission and 20% reduction of energy intensity in its 11th Five-Year Plan period (FYP, 2006-2010). This study uses Shanxi Province to show the health effects of air pollution and health benefits resulting from various air pollution control scenarios in Shanxi province, illustrate how policies and measures have been implemented in practice in the province as a response to the National Environmental Five Year Plan issued by the central government, and demonstrate how the various responses have contributed to meeting targets.
The study shows that the economic costs of air pollution in Taiyuan in the base year 2000 were large, and that control strategies especially targeting area sources (low level distributed sources) could lead to substantial health benefits for the population in Taiyuan and that the gain is greater the earlier control actions are taken. The results in Paper I have been updated, using exposureresponse functions from the most recent publications on the topic. Although there are large uncertainties in the estimates of health benefits and the implementation of air pollution control measures, the study shows that scenario-based and pollution source-oriented health benefit evaluation of air pollution in Taiyuan can be very useful. Even though selection of optimal control scenarios for Taiyuan requires further cost-benefit analysis and regional considerations, this study does provide decision-makers with evidence about not only the significance of control and prevention of environmental pollution, but also gives indications of what measures are most effective locally. The national air quality standard Grade II is a bit less strict than the WHO guidelines, and the study implies that there are large health benefits to be gained by setting stricter standards for the future in China. China has already in 2012 set a new ambient air quality standard which lowers the previous threshold value of PM10 (Grade II: annual average from 100 μg/m3 to 70 μg/m3) and includes an index (standard) for PM2.5 (Grade II: annual average 35 μg/m3) for the first time.
The achievements in energy saving and emission reduction in Shanxi have been substantial in the 11th five-year plan period (2006-2010). The provincial and local governments have put energy efficiency and environment protection very high on its policy agenda, and devoted a considerable amount of effort to achieving the goals. Very detailed requirements and regulations have been issued. The most important measures so far seem to be in the industrial sector. Particularly, the Top-200 Program and phasing out outdated capacity contributed, respectively, 63% and 30% of the total energy savings. The reduction by FGD in the power sector dominated the total SO2 reduction.
However, Shanxi has still a long way to go to achieve satisfactory energy use and limit the emissions of pollutants such as SO2, NOx, CO2 and PM. Further improvement of energy intensity and environment will require continuing efforts to optimize the economic structure, in particular a shift to low-carbon economy and reduction in the dependence on heavy industry. The personnel appraisal system should also be improved to provide stronger incentives for achieving further energy intensity and pollution reductions.
List of papers. The papers are removed from the thesis due to publisher restrictions.
Paper I: Daisheng Zhang, Kristin Aunan, Hans Martin Seip, Steinar Larssen, Jianhui Liu and Dingsheng Zhang, 2010. The assessment of health damage caused by air pollution and its implication for policy making in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. Energy Policy 38: 491??502. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.09.039
Paper II: Daisheng Zhang, Kristin Aunan, Hans Martin Seip and Haakon Vennemo, 2011. The energy intensity target in China's 11th Five-Year Plan period—Local implementation and achievements in Shanxi Province. Energy Policy 39: 4115??4124. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.03.085
Paper III: Daisheng Zhang, Kristin Aunan, Hans Martin Seip, Thorjørn Larssen, Haakon Vennemo, Steinar Larssen, Liulei Feng, Caixia Wu and Ruikai Xie, 2012. Air Pollution reduction during China's 11th Five-Year Plan period - Local implementation and achievements in Shanxi province. Environmental Development 4: 36–53. doi:10.1016/j.envdev.2012.09.002