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Research Kicked off to Eliminate Heavily Polluted Days in the Greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

In early October, Energy Foundation China (EF China) and grantees Tsinghua University, the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning (CAEP), and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) held a seminar to kick off research on a collaborative control pathway to eliminate heavily polluted days in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Attendees included the project research team members, and experts such as Zhang Dawei, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Atmospheric Environment of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Zou Ji, CEO and President of EF China, Li Jie, EF China’s Vice President for Programs, He Kebin, Project General Advisor and Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Li Xiang, Director of the Atmospheric Environment Department of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, and Shi Ning, Atmospheric Division of the Hebei Provincial Ecological Environment Department. The project is expected to examine seven areas to propel the synergistic reduction of air pollution and carbon emissions in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and surrounding provinces, including the current regional industrial structure and emission levels, the regional impact and joint control zones of heavily polluted days, the regional atmospheric environmental capacity and required emissions reductions, the formulation and effect evaluation of control plans, the design of a coal phaseout-centered pathway of regional collaborative control, and the analysis of costs, benefits, and socio-economic impacts.

Deputy Director-General Zhang spoke positively about EF China’s efforts in advancing China's air quality improvement and climate change mitigation. He said that the elimination of heavily polluted days in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was a core task of his department in the next two years, and he appreciated support from EF China. He called for more research on synergistic reductions of air and climate pollutants, with focus on precise, innovative, and legitimate co-control solutions to support effective environmental oversight.

Zou Ji expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. He also said that the elimination of heavily polluted days in key regions should rely on structural changes, especially the adjustment and optimization of energy and industrial structures. He suggested the inclusion of equity dimensions into the research too.

With expert guidance, the project team is expected to completed the research by May 2022.

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