prosperous and involved public, pollution reduction has been singled out as a priority in China’s Agenda 21 document.
Chinese planners now recognize that the choice of energy supply affects not only public health, but also land use, the environment, infrastructure, services, and economic growth. Thus, a secure, flexible, and varied energy-supply policy is critical to continued growth. Because China has an overabundance of coal and a scarcity of oil and gas, planners must continually balance the public good (i.e., public health and quality of life) against the easy availability of polluting coal and the high cost of importing oil and natural gas. Fundamentally, the Chinese policy community must address ambient air quality concerns by integrating energy supply and use for all economic sectors—industrial, power generation, residential, commercial, and transportation.
A good deal of progress has been made in China since the mid-1990s. The national averages for emissions of SO2 and particulate matter (PM) have decreased, mostly as a result of stepped up enforcement of existing standards by national, provincial, and municipal governments. However, because of the increase in vehicle pollution and the continued prevalence of fine-particle pollution (less than 10 microns [PM10], or even 2.5 microns in diameter [PM2.5]), the government passed a second amendment in 2000 to the 1987 Law of Air Pollution Prevention and Control. The new legislation, which went into effect September 1, 2001, calls for the regulation of transportation, as well as residential and commercial energy use. When the new law is fully implemented over the next decade, it will greatly strengthen environmental laws and standards.
One purpose of the October 2003 meeting was to identify trends that will influence future energy choices in China. These trends are discussed below.
In response to increased vehicle density and traffic congestion, China is implementing new control systems on combustion engines in cars, trucks, and small vehicles with two-cycle engines in hopes of reducing ground-level ozone and suspended particulates. To determine the effectiveness of these measures, China must first improve its monitoring of PM2.5 and PM10, as well as of gases, such as ozone. In a detailed report on source apportionment by Zhang et al., the authors note that their monitoring studies show the smallest particles in Beijing are predominantly from stationary sources (e.g., coal combustion and fugitive dust) rather than vehicles, despite the increase in vehicular traffic. This may be because vehicles in Beijing tend to be new and have fairly efficient combustion systems. This conclusion is affirmed by Xu et al. in their discussion of the power sector. The authors of both papers conclude that the monitoring and analysis of