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UNECE showcases pan-European experience at air pollution conference in China

To share its experiences in tackling the emissions of key air pollutants in the pan-European region through the work under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, UNECE participated in a conference on “Clean air in China through effective compliance and enforcement”, which took place in Beijing on 29 and 30 September 2015.

Underlining that in Europe, similar to China, the health effects of PM2.5 pollution in cities raise considerable concern, UNECE highlighted in particular the amendments to the Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol). The Gothenburg Protocol is the first legally binding agreement containing obligations to reduce the broader spectrum of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), notably fine particulate matter (PM2.5), including black carbon. The importance of addressing short-lived climate pollutants, including through the Gothenburg Protocol, was also emphasized as a means of achieving co-benefits with climate change mitigation.

Informing participants about the progress in the implementation of the Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in major Chinese cities adopted in 2013, the Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection of China Mr. Li Ganjie also drew particular attention to China’s success in decreasing the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in those cities by an average 11.5 % in 2014 and further 15% in 2015. The adoption of amendments to the Law on Air Pollution Prevention in 2015 is expected to result in further reduction of air pollutants emissions and concentrations in cities.

The “Clean air in China through effective compliance and enforcement” conference gathered more than 140 national and international participants. It was organized jointly by the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE).