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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Feb 1;543(Pt A):307-14. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.11.037. Epub 2015 Nov 18.

Improving air pollution control policy in China--A perspective based on cost-benefit analysis.

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Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences School, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China. Electronic address:
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.
KLSG, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou 31002, China.
The Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, State Environmental Protection Laboratory of Environmental Planning and Policy Simulation, Beijing 100012, China. Electronic address:


To mitigate serious air pollution, the State Council of China promulgated the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in 2013. To verify the feasibility and validity of industrial energy-saving and emission-reduction policies in the action plan, we conducted a cost-benefit analysis of implementing these policies in 31 provinces for the period of 2013 to 2017. We also completed a scenario analysis in this study to assess the cost-effectiveness of different measures within the energy-saving and the emission-reduction policies individually. The data were derived from field surveys, statistical yearbooks, government documents, and published literatures. The results show that total cost and total benefit are 118.39 and 748.15 billion Yuan, respectively, and the estimated benefit-cost ratio is 6.32 in the S3 scenario. For all the scenarios, these policies are cost-effective and the eastern region has higher satisfactory values. Furthermore, the end-of-pipe scenario has greater emission reduction potential than energy-saving scenario. We also found that gross domestic product and population are significantly correlated with the benefit-cost ratio value through the regression analysis of selected possible influencing factors. The sensitivity analysis demonstrates that benefit-cost ratio value is more sensitive to unit emission-reduction cost, unit subsidy, growth rate of gross domestic product, and discount rate among all the parameters. Compared with other provinces, the benefit-cost ratios of Beijing and Tianjin are more sensitive to changes of unit subsidy than unit emission-reduction cost. These findings may have significant implications for improving China's air pollution prevention policy.


Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan; Cost–benefit analysis; Environmental management; Environmental policy; Spatial disparity

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