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Health benefits from reducing PM2.5 pollution in Hebei, China

Kristin Aunan, Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie

We estimate the impact on population exposure and associated health damage of reducing the PM2.5 concentration in ambient air in Hebei, China. We calculate the health benefit in 2017 and onwards of an overall 15% reduction in the PM2.5 level in the province compared to the level in 2012. This corresponds to the assumed reduction resulting from policies and measures included in the multi-sectoral Hebei Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan for 2012-2017. Moreover, we estimate the impact of expanding the Action Plan so as to achieve a 25% reduction in pollution levels by 2017. This corresponds to the target set for the province, but which is unlikely to be met given the current policies and measures. We estimate the health benefit of alternative designs of an expanded Action Plan. These include scenarios that leads to a PM2.5 reduction in urban areas only, and scenarios which, in addition to improving ambient air quality, imply that households switch from traditional coal and biomass to clean fuels and thereby reduce the exposure for population groups depending on solid fuels. The report is part of the background documents for the preparation of a possible World Bank Program-for-Results (PforR) operation on PM2.5 pollution in Hebei, aiming at assisting the province in reducing air pollution. We find that the health benefit of expanding the current Action Plan (from a 15% to a 25% reduction in ambient PM2.5 concentration) likely exceeds the PforR investment, and conclude that – given that the investment contributes to reaching the 25% reduction target – the investment is profitable. In addition to health benefits, we provide a qualitative assessment of other benefits, including climate benefits.

More details

  • Year: 2016
  • Language: English