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Here is the China Air Quality Newsletter for January 2017, where we picked some highlights over the past one month. Of course, please feel free to kindly pass the newsletters to your friends who are interested in environmental issues in China. Our Air Quality Newsletters will continue delivering high-quality news to our concerned readers. You can click on this link to forward our email:[UNIQID]

We hope you'll enjoy our updates and continue caring for the air quality in China with us!
China Air Quality News
P.S. Did anything stand out to you about our newsletters? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments or questions about our China Air Quality News, so please don't hesitate to send them over.
  China Air Quality Newsletter

January 2017


China Raises its Low Carbon Ambitions in New 2020 Targets
On January 5th, the National Energy Administration (NEA) unveiled the 13th Five-Year-Plan on Energy Development. With the new plan, China raises ambitions for its low-carbon future. The plan includes a set of 2020 targets covering everything from total energy consumption to installed wind energy capacity. A combined 2.5 trillion RMB ($361 billion) in investment will be given to renewable energy projects during the 2016-2020 period, creating more than 13 million jobs according to initial estimates, said deputy head of the NEA Li Yangzhe, adding that renewable energy will play a bigger role in household heating.
Air Quality Improved in 2016
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) recently published air quality data. 84 out of 338 cities achieved their annual air quality targets and the top 10 cities with the best air quality were announced. The monitoring data has been supervised directly by MEP to avoid interference from local governments. National air quality is improving and pollutant concentrations have decreased in key regions. However, winter pollution caused by heating in Northern China is still a challenge. Proposals to address this problem include adjusting the industry structure and stricter control of high-emission vehicles. In 2000, the Pearl River Delta formulated an air quality management plan. With its enforcement in place, the air quality in 2016 was much better than in the two other key regions: Jing-Jin-Ji Region and Yangtze River Delta. Air quality targets should be set for non-key regions as well.
China Suspends 104 Planned Coal Power Plants
The National Energy Administration has announced that 104 planned and under-construction coal power projects, with a total capacity of 120GW, have been suspended. Around 54GW of suspended capacity comes from projects already under construction. See the plants mapped by Greenpeace here

Activities in the Field

Emissions Performance Standard Could Improve Environmental Outcomes and Complement China’s Electricity Market Transition
The Regulatory Assistance Project suggests a national emissions performance standard (EPS), for CO2, NOX, SO2, and mercury. This would complement other power sector reform initiatives to address the multi-faceted challenge of generation overcapacity and its effects in China. An EPS can help to guarantee that the 13th FYP’s objectives (and targets in later years) will be achieved by locking in the environmental benefits from increased utilization of renewable and non-emitting generation.
Disaggregated Coal Combustion is a Hot Topic
Emissions from disaggregated coal combustion is a major cause of heavy pollution in Northern China during winter. President Xi recently highlighted the importance of promoting clean heating. To provide policy support for the clean energy transition, Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions (ICCS, Secretariat for Clean Air Alliance of China) and Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection jointly analyzed a typical case of clean energy retrofitting. The investigation compared the cost input and emission reduction benefits of the existing mainstream clean energy technologies.
How One Dirty Chinese City Went Green
Maoming’s Vice Mayor took part in the Paulson Institute Mayors Training Program to learn about best practices in environmental management and systematic planning. The city of Maoming, the largest oil refinery base in Southern China, is moving toward a cleaner economic model. The city is tracking factory emissions and has shut down polluting factories.
Impacts of World Class Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Regulations
A new briefing paper from the ICCT characterizes the climate and health benefits of adopting world-class standards for new vehicle efficiency as well as pollutant emissions in China and other members of the G20 transport task group.
Researchers Develop Environmentally Friendly Soy Air Filter
Researchers from Washington State University and University of Science and Technology Beijing have worked together to develop a soy-based all-natural, biodegradable and inexpensive air filter. The filter can capture toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde that current air filters cannot.
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AQ News in English

Cement Industry Demise Leads to Painful Transition
2017-01-31, China Dialogue
2017 Set to Be a Bleak Year for Coal
2017-01-27, China Dialogue
Can China Meet its 2017 Air Quality Goals?
2017-01-25, China Dialogue
Green Bond Rise Seen as Smog Thickens
2017-01-23, China Daily
Residents Skeptical as City Blames their Cooking for Toxic Air
2017-01-20, China Dialogue
China's Local Governments Prioritize Pollution Control in Work Reports
2017-01-19, Xinhua
The End is Near for China’s “Zombie” Coal Mines
2017-01-18, China Dialogue
China’s Decline in Coal Consumption Drives Global Slowdown in Emissions
2017-01-17, World Resource Institute
Henan: Chinese New Year Loses its Bang for Cleaner Air
2017-01-16, Xinhua
Environment Experts Look Into High Levels of Sulfur in Linfen
2017-01-13, China Daily
High-Level Inspection Teams Prompt Revision of Anti-Pollution Measures
2017-01-10, China Daily
China Exclusive: Environment Minister Feels “Guilty” for Air Pollution
2017-01-09, Xinhua
Government Needs Better Understanding of Health
2017-01-06, China Daily (Ministry of Environmental Protection)
China Expected to Break Solar Power Record
2017-01-06, Greenpeace Energydesk
Pressure Builds to Fight Smog in Western China
2017-01-05, China Dialogue
Regions Found to Have 'Critical' Heavy Metal Emissions Now Clean Up Act
2017-01-01, Caixin

AQ News in Chinese   (with translated summaries and titles)

Hebei Province: Adjusting the Industry Structure and Optimizing the Energy Mix
2016-1-22, People’s Daily Online
Adjusting the industry structure and optimizing the energy mix is key to improve air quality. The Hebei government is developing an emissions inventory for iron and steel, cement, power, and glass industries. Inefficient and highly polluting production capacity has been reduced and an environmental protection team consisting of over 600 officials has started working to improve law enforcement. The provincial government also promotes electrifying heating uses and substituting gas for coal to reduce disaggregated coal use. Coal burning is prohibited in Baodi city, Langfang city, and counties around Beijing.

Shanghai Meets PM2.5 Concentration Target
2017-01-13, China Environmental News
In 2016 the annual average PM2.5 concentration in Shanghai was 45 µg/m3. It has decreased 27.4 percent since 2013 and 15.1 percent since 2015. This means that Shanghai met its PM2.5 target one year earlier than expected. Meanwhile SO2, particulate matter, and NO2 concentrations have dropped respectively 11.8 percent, 14.5 percent, and 6.5 percent compared to 2015. Nine coal-fired power generators have been renovated to reach super-low emission and 1,456 factories have reduced their VOCs emissions.

The 5th Meeting of the 12th Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC) Held in Beijing 
2017-1-13, The Beijing News
Beijing plans special action, investigations, and workshops to improve air quality this year, specific objectives for which will be developed. Committee members submitted proposals regarding air quality management during the meeting. These included applying more clean energy and installing household heating meters, as well as encouraging the public and environmental protection organizations to participate in air quality improvement activities.
Media Calls for Protection of Outdoor Workers on Heavily Polluted Days
2016-1-24, The Paper

2.4 Billion RMB Will Be Invested in Researching Air Pollution Causes and Control and Prevention Technologies During the 13th Five-Year Plan Period
2016-1-23, The Paper

Shanxi Province, Linfen City:  Five Companies Face Penalties for Illegal Emissions Amounting to 20 Million RMB
2016-1-22, The Paper
Jing-Jin-Ji Region: PM2.5 Concentrations Were 2.4 Times Higher During the Heating Period in 2016 (November 15th - December 31st)
2016-1-20, The Paper
Hebei Province, Baoding City: Diesel at 30 Percent of Gas Stations Fails to Meet Standards According to a Survey by China Research Academy of Environmental Science
2016-1-19, China Environmental News
Beijing: Working Conference on National Environmental Protection Held January 10th -11th
2017-1-12, China Environmental News
Beijing: Penalties for Environmental Regulation Violations Exceeded RMB150 Million in 2016
27 Waste Incinerators Exceeded Emission Standards 2,533 times in 25 Days Shows Investigation by Environmental Protection Organizations
2017-1-11, Legal Daily
Shenzhen: 18 Years of Work to Improve Air Quality Since the Acid Rain in 1998
2016-1-11, China Environmental News
Heilongjiang Province: Harbin City Initiates a 3-month Campaign to Crack Down on Environmental Violations
2017-1-10, China Environmental News
Beijing: Clean Energy Takes the Lead in Producing Heat
2016-1-10, Economic Daily

China Air Quality Newsletter provides the latest news and activities about air quality in China. This monthly newsletter is compiled by Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions (the Secretariat for CAAC), Energy Foundation China, and Regulatory Assistance Project, with contribution from our partner organizations.
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Copyright © 2016 ICCS, EF & RAP, All rights reserved.
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