Sulfur dioxide control in China: Policy evolution during the 10th and 11th Five-year Plans and lessons for the future

Jeremy J. Schreifels, Yale Fu, Elizabeth J Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations

Abstract

China's Central government established national goals to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO 2) emissions by 10% in both the 10th and 11th Five-year Plan periods, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively. But the early policies were unsuccessful at reducing emissions-emissions increased 28% during the 10th Five-year Plan. After adapting a number of policies and introducing new instruments during the 11th Five-year Plan, SO 2 emissions declined by 14%. We examine the evolution of these policies, their interplay with technical and institutional factors, and capture lessons from the 11th Five-year Plan to guide future pollution control programs. We find that several factors contributed to achievement of the 11th Five-year Plan SO 2 reduction goal: (1) instrument choice, (2) political accountability, (3) emission verification, (4) political support, (5) streamlined targets, and (6) political and financial incentives. The approach integrated multiple policy instruments-market-based, command-and-control, and administrative instruments specific to the Chinese context. The evolution of SO 2 reduction policies and programs has implications for further SO 2 reductions from power plants and other sources, as well as control of other atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NO X) and carbon dioxide (CO 2) in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-789
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

Keywords

  • Environmental policy
  • Five-year Plan
  • SO
  • SO control
  • TEC
  • USD

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