Energy-related GHG emission reduction benefits air quality improvement in China’s cities:
empirical analysis based on a broad package of energy policies
Jingjing Jiang, Bin Ye, Junguo Liu
Understanding the potential of GHG emission reduction and the associated air environmental co-benefit in cities has great significance for China to advance low-carbon transition and sustainable development. The study takes Shenzhen, a megacity of China and the first nationwide demonstration city for the 21st century sustainable development agenda, as an example to examine urban GHG emission reduction and its impacts on air quality. The major results indicate that, with an effective implementation of existing and newly emerging energy policies, Shenzhen can reach a peak of GHG emissions at 2020 and decrease them by nearly a half by 2030, and reductions of GHG emissions will bring notable co-benefits on abating PM2.5 related air pollutant emissions. At the sectoral level, great potentials of GHG emission reduction remain in various sectors; and reaching such potentials will bring the greatest synergic effects on abating pollutant emissions in transportation sector, followed by electricity and manufacturing sectors, while being not significant in building sector. Moreover, all policies on energy saving, efficiency improvement, and demand management show strong synergic effects on cutting multiple air pollutants, while policies on energy structural optimization show differentiated impacts across SO2, NOx, VOCs, and PM2.5. The case study of Shenzhen provides several important enlightenments, including: China’s cities are able to achieve great potentials of GHG emission reduction and hereby bring co-benefits of air quality improvement. Urban managers should give the priority to energy policies with strong synergic effects and promote the practical implementation of newly emerging policies. Moreover, transportation, electricity, and manufacturing sectors are key fields for cities to launch a synergic governance of climate change and air pollution.
GHG emissions, Air pollution, Synergic effect, Energy policy, China’s cities, Shenzhen