The rapid growth in coal and oil consumption has led to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases as well as air pollutants in China. In response to this, the Chinese government has begun to formulate policies to retard the increasing use of energy consumption and to improve air quality. This paper attempts to quantify the co-benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving air quality from policies that are originally formulated to improve energy efficiency and to abate emissions of air pollutants from energy use. The present authors have developed an integrated approach, combining an energy projection model, an emission estimation model, an air quality simulation model, and a health benefit evaluation model, to assess the co-benefits of two different sets of energy policies of China. The modeling results show that significant benefits, including 1469 million tonnes of reduced emissions of CO2, 12–32% decline in air pollutant concentrations, and more than 100 billion US$ of health benefit, can be achieved around the year 2030 if aggressive energy policies are implemented. The analyses suggest that such energy policies could do a lot of benefit to the environment. Moreover, better industry structure and energy structure is essential for higher air quality.
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