CECP - Exploring regional impacts of climate policy in China

Air quality impacts are reduced most in the industrializing central provinces

Focusing on the 4% scenario, population-weighted PM2.5 concentration falls most in provinces where a CO₂ price shifts provinces on to a cleaner industrialization path.

2030 reduction in population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations in 4% Policy scenario compared to No policy scenario, μg/m³
Population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations in 2030 under 4% Policy scenario, μg/m³
Impacts are more limited along the coasts and in the less populated northern and western regions

Central provinces start with higher PM2.5 concentration in the base year in our simulation due to a relatively high share of heavy industry and reliance on coal energy use. PM2.5 concentrations are population-weighted provincial averages. These provinces experience greater reduction in air pollution when climate policy is implemented. By contrast, populous eastern coastal provinces experience more limited reductions in air pollution, as their energy systems are relatively cleaner today and these provincial economies do not grow as rapidly as the central provinces. Less populous provinces in the northern and western regions also experience less reduction in population-weighted air pollution.