Cost-optimized pathways to achieve the carbon neutrality and PM2.5 air quality targets in Southern China

Liu, X. (2021). Cost-optimized pathways to achieve the carbon neutrality and PM2.5 air quality targets in Southern China. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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China’s newly proposed carbon neutrality target in September 2020 requires deep decarbonization with an interim goal of peak carbon emissions approximately by the year 2030. At the same time, although significant results have been achieved in recent years in the prevention and control of air pollution, the air quality situation remains serious, with PM2.5 concentrations as high as 34ug/m3 in 2020 even under the impact of the COVID-19. How to achieve carbon neutrality and air quality goals simultaneously in a cost-effective way is essential for China, and it is important to understand better how such strategies would be achieved at the provincial level. This study explores cost-optimized pathways for achieving the dual targets in the rapidly developing but unevenly balanced southern China including Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hainan, Jiangxi and Fujian provinces. We use a multimodel assessment approach which consists of the macro-economic model (IMED|CGE), the GAINS model, multi-objective cost optimization model and public health model (IMED|HEL) to investigate the costs and benefits of achieving carbon neutrality and the PM2.5 air quality goal. We found that in the baseline without carbon emission constraint under the current legislation, all 6 provinces cannot achieve China’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard class I (15ug/m3 ) by 2050. Only by implementing the strictest air pollution control measures can it be possible to approach the air quality level under the carbon-neutral scenario, which will increase the control cost by 20%~200%. While in the Net zero carbon scenarios, Fujian, Guangxi, and Hainan are expected to reach the WHO guidance value under the current control measures with substantial health co-benefits. Furthermore, in order to achieve the same air quality goals, the air pollution control cost under the carbon neutrality scenario would also be significantly lower than the baseline scenario. The contribution of end-of-pipe measures will gradually decrease, due to the cleaner energy mix. In the long term, the transition of the transportation, industrial and energy structure in line with the carbon neutrality target would lay an important foundation for further improvements in air quality.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 07:59
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 11:02

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