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Chinese-U.S. Study Outlines Steps to Cut Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas in Beijing

Release Date: 11/23/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 / millett.john@epa.gov

(Beijing, Nov. 23, 2005) A team of U.S.-supported Chinese researchers have outlined strategies to dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics and afterward. With clean energy technologies and policies in Beijing the city could reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide by up to 22 percent in 2010, the study found. Output of health-impairing particulate matter could also be cut by up to 40 percent each year. The Beijing project is part of a larger effort by EPA to work with China and other developing countries to promote environmental sustainability.

"This landmark study shows the effectiveness of international cooperation in promoting sustainable growth while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants," EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said. "Our ongoing cooperation with national and local governments in China proves that by working together, we can promote ways to make a real difference in people's lives. We will soon be building on and expanding these efforts through our new Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.''

The partnership, to be formally launched in January at a ministerial conference in Sydney, Australia, will include China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

With support from EPA, a Chinese research team has completed an in-depth analysis of co-benefits in support of the Beijing Olympic Air Quality Action Plan. The study examined measures to improve air quality in Beijing before the 2008 Summer Olympics. These measures include expanded natural gas use, energy efficiency, and "green" transport, which include cleaner fuels for taxis and expanded public transport.

If the analyzed measures are implemented, this rapidly-growing city of nearly 14 million people will benefit from improved public health and reduced growth in carbon dioxide emissions. The results of the study will be disseminated to a wide range of senior policymakers in China.

The report, sponsored by EPA's Integrated Environmental Strategies (IES) Program, was released during an international workshop in Beijing on greenhouse gas and air pollution control policies.

EPA's IES Program works with teams of researchers and policymakers in developing countries to analyze and quantify the environmental, public health, and economic co-benefits of policies that reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.

For more information about the IES-Beijing Project and the just-released study, "Energy Options and Health Benefit Beijing Case Study," visit: http://www.epa.gov/ies

To learn more about the EPA's air and climate programs in China, visit: http://www.epa.gov/oia/airandclimate/byregion/chinaair.html