A Sound Air Quality Management System is Required to Restore Blue Skies
On September 18, 2014, Energy Foundation China organized a two-day air quality workshop in Beijing, in collaboration with the Paulson Institute, China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Energy Innovation, and Clean Air Alliance of China. Titled “Restoring Blue Skies: Accelerating Air Pollution Control”, the workshop brought together more than 70 people including top air quality experts from within China and abroad, as well as government officials from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. Participants discussed such critical topics as air quality progress and challenges in China, amending the air pollution prevention and control law, principles and tools of local implementation, air quality management strategies in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei (JJJ) region, co-control of air pollutants and GHG emissions, and implementation.
“Through the exchange of best practices and the recent research findings of domestic and foreign experts, the workshop focused on positive and concrete measures to help China solve its air quality problems,” said Mr. Wang Jiansheng, President of Energy Foundation China. “Air pollution is not only a severe challenge, but also an enormous opportunity--we need to reduce air pollutant emissions through improving policies, building strict law-enforcement systems, and establishing a sound air quality management system to continuously improve air quality.”
Participating experts and officials focused on six areas:
1. Developing strategies, and policies, laws and regulations to reduce air pollution in China by building consensus on key principles for robust plans;
2. Sharing the progress of actions on air pollution prevention and control in Beijing-Tianjing-Hebei to push forward air quality improvement in this area;
3. Promoting co-control of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions;
4. Driving the implementation and enforcement of air quality improvement actions;
5. Developing communication and cooperation mechanisms for all partners;
6. Drawing on international experiences to look for innovative ideas that can help accelerate the development of mechanisms and technological progress.
Mr. Zhao Lijian, Director of the Energy Foundation China’s Environmental Management Program, gave a presentation titled “Ten Principles for Local Air Quality Management: Policy Brief ” at the workshop. The presentation pointed out that local governments are finding it challenging to achieve the air quality improvement goals in China’s State Council’s “Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-2017)” (also known as “Ten Measures for Air”), published in September 2013. This is due to a lack of management experience and resources in air pollution prevention and control. International experiences show that short-term actions alone are not enough to achieve sustainable air quality improvement. A good policy framework and detailed management systems must also be put in place. The ten basic principles for air quality management are intended as a reference for local Chinese governments to establish air quality management systems.
The workshop organizers will continue to refine their policy recommendations on air quality improvement in China and circulate them through various channels to further drive forward China's air pollution prevention and control efforts.