Workshop supports ozone control in China’s Yangtze River Delta

 

With the concentration of ground-level ozone increasing in China and the number of attainment cities decreasing, the development of more effective pollution-control strategies was on the agenda at Clean Air Asia’s Yangtze River Delta Workshop on Ground-Level Ozone Pollution Control held from March 17-18 in Hangzhou.

While most Chinese cities had achieved significant improvements in air quality due to the implementation of the national “Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan”, Yangtze River Delta Regional Air Quality Forecast Center Vice-Director Fu Qingyan said ozone had become “the biggest threat to clean air” in the region.

Workshop participants discuss ozone pollution control

“With great effort, the air quality of the cities in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region has continuously improved in the past year. In 2015, the attainment days in 25 cities reached 72.1 percent, which represents a 2.6 percent year-on-year increase. However, ozone pollution is worsening, particularly from May to August,” Ms Fu said.

The workshop – organized by Clean Air Asia, the Yangtze River Delta Regional Air Quality Forecast Center, the Zhejiang Environmental Science Research and Design Institute, and the Zhejiang Environmental Monitoring Center in Zhejiang – was aimed at supporting ozone pollution control in the YRD.

More than 120 participants from environmental protection authorities in the YRD and surrounding provinces, including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi, took part in the workshop, during which national and international experts shared their research and ozone-control experiences in their cities.

Chinese cities are facing multi-pollutant air pollution, and ozone is a new problem

“Clean Air Asia has been working to improve air quality in China for more than 10 years,” said Clean Air Asia China Director Fu Lu. “China’s air quality is changing and its air-quality management needs are changing, so our support to Chinese cities to govern their air is changing. Chinese cities are facing multi-pollutant air pollution, and ozone is a new problem. We hope this workshop helps local environmental protection authorities make scientific decisions to tackle this problem so the public can breathe better air.”

Catherine Witherspoon, former Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board in the US, expounded on California’s experiences: “California had different stages. Successful air pollution control is based on a profound understanding of the source, its formation and transboundary transport. China has a long road ahead but it has an opportunity to do even better.”

Jun Jin, Vice-Dean of the Zhejiang Environmental Science Research and Design Institute, said: “This workshop introduced advanced international and domestic ozone pollution-control practices. It was a good opportunity for people working to protect the environment in the YRD region to learn about successful policies and the latest technologies which will benefit future local ozone-control processes.”

Clean Air Asia China Program Manager
Dr Wan Wei

During the workshop, Clean Air Asia introduced the Chinese version of the Guidance Framework for Better Air Quality in Asian Cities. The Guidance Framework, organized around key areas of concern in Asia, equips countries and cities with the knowledge and direction needed to effectively reduce air pollution, mapping out the steps and actions to be taken by national and local-level policymakers and decision-makers to improve air quality.

The voluntary and non-binding Guidance Framework – developed in consultation with environment ministries, experts and air quality management stakeholders – features six specific areas of guidance: Ambient air quality standards and monitoring; emissions inventories and modeling; health and other impacts; air quality communication; clean air plans; and governance.

“Based on the content of Guidance Framework, we will continue to organize supportive activities to satisfy the needs of Chinese cities to implement the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, including featured trainings, sharing, and an online help desk,” said Dr Wan Wei, Clean Air Asia China Program Manager. “The online help desk is part of the Clean Air Knowledge Hub, where people can access international experience and training materials. Users can also ask questions through the help-desk and we will provide suggestions after consultation with experts.”

For more information, contact Qiuxia Wang at the Clean Air Asia China office at +86 186 0021 6077 or qiuxia.wang@cleanairasia.org.