The Climate and Environmental Benefits of Controlling SLCPs in P.R. China: A UNEP-PRCEE Synthesis Report

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ; Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE) (2015)

In recent years, the People’s Republic of China has shown significant commitment to environmental-friendly socio-economic development. One reflection of this is in its 11th (2006-2010) and 12th (2011-2015) National Economic and Social Development Five-Year Plans (FYP), which both contained several important environmental-related targets and encourage significant investment in achieving these targets. Among the targets are those that could contribute to improved local air quality including the goal of decreasing energy consumption per GDP by 20%, and reducing total SO2 emissions by 10% as contained in the 11th FYP and the goal of increasing non-fossil fuel proportion in primary energy consumption to 11.4%, decreasing energy consumption per GDP by 16%, reducing CO2 emissions per GDP by 17%, decreasing total nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 10%, and total SO2 emissions by 8%, as contained in the 12th FYP. National records show that the air quality-related targets in the 11th FYP were achieved and exceeded. Success is also being achieved towards the 12th FYP including in the installation of a significant proportion of desulfurization and denitrification facilities and reduction of CO2 emissions per GDP. However, there remains more work to be done in order for China to move toward sustainable development. For example, many parts of China still experience episodes of poor air quality and the associated challenges are having significant socio-economic and environmental impacts on China and its populace. Researches undertaken within and outside China show that, controlling Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) could contribute towards improving local air quality while also contributing to combating climate change. This report therefore reviews the sources of SLCPs emissions, in particular black carbon and methane, in China and presents information on their impacts. It also highlights the benefits of mitigating SLCP emissions, as well as technical measures for controlling emissions and policy options for achieving emission reduction.

Climate Change