CECP - Exploring regional impacts of climate policy in China

China has a unique opportunity to clean up CO₂ and local air pollution at the same time

All CO₂ policies deliver substantial reductions in CO₂ emissions (left panel) as well as energy-linked local air pollutants such as SO₂ and NOX, which reduce the formation of the harmful air pollutant PM2.5 (right panel).

CO₂ emissions, Mt
Population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations, μg/m³*
All CO₂ policies halt the rise in air pollution—but complementary measures will be needed to meet near-term air quality targets

Increasing levels of climate policy stringency lead to ever greater reductions in local air pollution. However, additional complementary measures will be needed to meet China’s ambient air quality target of 35 µg/m³ in all climate policy scenarios. In the 4% scenario, China's climate pledge is achieved, with substantial co-benefits in the form of improved air quality. To achieve near-term air quality goals (right panel), a CO₂ price will need to be accompanied by complementary measures to address air pollution formation, such as ammonia emissions controls and end-of-pipe cleanup on remaining coal-fired power stations and industrial facilities.