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The impacts of economic restructuring and technology upgrade on air quality and human health in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in China

Liu, Chao, Dai, Hancheng, Zhang, Lin, Feng, Changchun
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2019 v.13 no.5 pp. 70
air pollution, air quality, econometric models, economic structure, emissions factor, health effects assessments, human health, industrialization, industry, inventories, issues and policy, ozone, pollutants, pollution control, river deltas, rivers, value added, China
In this study, we have analyzed possible policy options to improve the air quality in an industrialized region—Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei (BTH) in China. A comprehensive model framework integrating GAINS-China, GEOS-Chem, and IMED/HEL is established to investigate the impacts of various policies on air pollution and health effects. The model establishes a data interface between economic input/output data and the emission inventory of atmospheric pollutants in the BTH region. Based on in-depth analyses of pollutant emission standards, industrial structure, pollution-intensive industries, and emission intensities in BTH and Pearl River Delta, several scenarios are constructed to explore the effectiveness of policy pathways in improving air quality in the BTH region. These scenarios include two categories: the category of “Industrial Technology Upgrade Policy” scenarios that focuses on reducing the emission intensity of industries vs. that of “Industrial Structure Adjustment Policy” scenarios that focuses on adjusting the proportion of industrial value-added. Our results show that the policy path of industrial technology upgrading can be effective and feasible, while economic structure adjustment shows complex and mixed effectiveness. We also find that the proposed policies and measures will be efficient to reduce pollution of primary pollutants and fine particles, but may not effectively mitigate ambient ozone pollution. Ozone pollution is projected to become increasingly severe in BTH, placing a challenge to pollution mitigation strategies that requires further adjustments to address it.