Climate, Air Quality and Health Implications of China’s Energy Future
As a result of rapid industrialization, China now frequently suffers from extremely high levels of health damaging fine particulate air pollution and agriculture damaging elevated surface ozone pollution. In addition, China’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the largest in the world. Both air pollution and climate issues have gained intense domestic and international attention with new Chinese government policies intended to reduce air pollution emissions and peak CO2 emissions before 2030. However, although many air pollutants are emitted from the same energy technologies that emit carbon dioxide, and air quality co-benefits from reducing CO2 are known, strategic planning to optimize dual achievement of both goals is needed.
In this seminar I will discuss some of our atmospheric modeling/integrated assessment work analyzing various Chinese energy strategies to identify those most likely to maximize co-benefits for air quality, health and climate. Topics will include the air quality and climate impacts of long-distance transmission of renewable and coal generated electricity in China, the large contribution of the residential sector to regional scale air pollution, potential solar PV deployment strategies to maximize air quality benefits, and the potential of natural gas or renewable electricity use in the residential and transport sectors to improve air quality and, depending on methane leakage, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On-going measurement work in the US in Pennsylvania and West Virginia on methane leakage from abandoned oil and gas wells will be described, time permitting.