Building Clean Air Management Capacity for Chinese Cities

Air pollution brings enormous socio-economic losses and health damage in China. Facing the challenge of improving air quality in coming years, the provinces and cities in key regions need help in strengthening regional collaboration and clean air management capacity building. Under project “The Foundation of Clean Air Knowledge Management and Capacity Building System for Chinese Cities Project” funded by Energy Foundation, Clean Air Asia has been supporting the government to achieve closer collaboration between local authorities and cities as well as channeling regional needs to China Ministry of Environmental Protection, substantiate policy and other measures from a scientific and economic perspective, and a better alignment and integration of air quality management and climate change mitigation.

Bottom-up Approach of Promoting Regional Air Quality Management (AQM) Collaboration
Clean Air Asia adopted a bottom-up approach to promote regional AQM collaboration in Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and Pearl River Delta (PRD) since 2010. Such regional platforms are designed to foster dialogue mechanisms of regional collaboration among cities and provinces within the same region while regional AQM collaboration experience is introduced and shared by international and domestic experts.

Workshop on Regional Air Quality Management and Collaboration

In March 2013, a “Regional Air Quality Management and Collaboration” themed workshop was organized, bringing not only YRD and PRD representatives, but also city representatives in the north and western regions addressing the needs and challenges of regional AQM in China. Another workshop on vehicle pollution prevention and control was held in Beijing on 10 December 2013, which is jointly organized by Clean Air Asia and Vehicle Emission Control Center (MEP-VECC). The aim of this event is to summarize the status of vehicle emission control in China, understand the challenges and needs of cities, and discuss the possibility and necessity to bring in Asian experience in vehicle emission control.

Supporting cities to do self-diagnosis of AQM Capacity by Clean Air Management Assessment Tool
Clean Air Asia applied CAMAT in 6 Chinese cities in 2013 (Hangzhou, Jinan, Guangzhou, Zhaoqing, Foshan, and Chongqing) to help a city comprehensively assess its capacity of air quality and GHG emissions management.
CAMAT is developed by Clean Air Asia and introduced to China through Asian Development Bank (ADB). It has been applied in 20 cities in Asia and updated to Version3.0 in 2013 to incorporate urgent needs of China city AQM: (i) regional air quality management indicators, (ii) policy enforcement effectiveness rate, (iii) inventory of AQM tools and models for the next steps of assessment. ADB plans to extend its application Asia-wide to help more cities diagnosis clean air management.
The results show that five out of six are at the levels of “Emerging” while Hangzhou is “Maturing”. The scores did not vary significantly from each other, which means these cities have:

  • Majority of key components of clean air management are in place;
  • Policies and actions to reduce emissions from identified major sources need to be enhanced; and
  • Sector-based institutions need to upgrade technical and management capacity.
  • Developing a clean air management training module for city decision-makers
    The Chinese training materials on AQM for cities were developed during the project period based on the ASEAN – German Technical Cooperation AQM Training prepared by Clean Air Asia, which includes 3 modules: (i) City Development and Air Quality Management; (ii) Co-Benefits of Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation; and (iii) Regulations, Standards and Enforcement.

    The training materials were delivered to cities by sharing hard copies with Guangdong province, Jiangsu Province, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing and Jinan. The materials could be used for communication with city mayors and county leaders, as well as other government agencies related with clean air management, such as transport, industry and development and reform commission etc.

    Bringing cities to BAQ2012
    Eight China representatives to BAQ 2012 were funded under this project to participate in BAQ 2012 pre-events (3-4 December 2012) and the conference itself (5-7 December 2012). It brings leading experts, policy and decision makers together to network, learn and share experiences on air quality management. BAQs have proven to influence policies, initiate new projects and establish partnerships.

    Clean Air Asia (formerly Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities) promotes better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions from transport, energy, and other sectors.
    For media queries, please contact: Ritchie Anne Roňo, Communications Officer, [email protected]