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Frontiers of Engineering Management

Front. Eng    2019, Vol. 6 Issue (4) : 524-537
Cost-benefit analysis of China’s Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control
Jing ZHANG1,2, Hongqiang JIANG1,2(), Wei ZHANG1,2, Guoxia MA1,3, Yanchao WANG1, Yaling LU1,2, Xi HU1,2(), Jia ZHOU1,4, Fei PENG1,3, Jun BI4, Jinnan WANG1,2,3
1. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Environmental Planning and Policy Simulation, Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012, China
2. Center for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Regional Environment, Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012, China
3. Center for Environmental and Economic Accounting, Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012, China
4. State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
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China’s rapid economic growth has caused severe air pollution and public health problems. Therefore, the Chinese government launched the National Air Pollution Prevention and Control (hereinafter referred to as the “Air Plan”) in 2013–2017 to improve air quality and safeguard public health. In this study, an analytical framework for a cost-benefit analysis applicable to China was constructed, and the costs and benefits of the implementation of the “Air Plan” in 30 cities and provinces in China from 2013 to 2017 were evaluated. Results show that the total cost of implementation of the “Air Plan” is 1.6511 trillion RMB. The benefits of air quality improvement were determined to be 2.4691 trillion RMB through the willingness-to-pay method to calculate the economic loss of premature deaths. The net benefit related to the implementation of the “Air Plan” was 818 billion RMB. The public health benefit of air quality improvement was 1.5 times the cost of the nationwide implementation of the “Air Plan”. At the provincial level, net benefits that reach 279.3 billion RMB were the highest in Guangdong, whereas the benefit-cost ratio, where the benefit was 5.5 times the cost, was the highest in Fujian. Estimations in this study can serve as a reference for China in formulating similar environmental policies and implementing the “3-year Plan to Defend the Blue Sky”. In addition, these estimations have practical significance for advancing the long-term effective mechanisms of the cost-benefit analysis of China’s environmental policies.

Keywords Air Plan      cost-benefit analysis      health benefits      environmental policy     
Corresponding Author(s): Hongqiang JIANG,Xi HU   
Just Accepted Date: 28 October 2019   Online First Date: 22 November 2019    Issue Date: 05 December 2019
 Cite this article:   
Jing ZHANG,Hongqiang JIANG,Wei ZHANG, et al. Cost-benefit analysis of China’s Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control[J]. Front. Eng, 2019, 6(4): 524-537.
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Hongqiang JIANG
Guoxia MA
Yanchao WANG
Yaling LU
Jun BI
Jinnan WANG
Fig.1  Analytical framework for the cost-benefit analysis of the “Air Plan”.

“Yellow-label” vehicles are gasoline vehicles whose pollutant emissions do not satisfy the “China I” emission standards; diesel vehicles whose pollutant emissions do not meet the “China III” emission standards; and motorcycles, tricycles, and low-speed trucks.

Fig.2  Costs of the “Air Plan” in China from 2013 to 2017: (a) Costs of the “Air Plan” by year; (b) Costs of the “Air Plan” by measures (in 100 million RMB).
Fig.3  Costs of the “Air Plan” in 30 cities and provinces by year.
Province/City Adjustments of the structure and layout of industries Industrial pollution control Clean use of energy Boiler retrofitting and control Nonpoint source pollution control Motor vehicle pollution control Regulatory capacity building
Beijing 4 6 282 12 37 121 7
Tianjin 32 87 167 133 30 62 8
Hebei 181 405 424 126 92 109 20
Shanxi 18 372 721 19 13 48 18
Inner Mongolia 5 525 323 11 12 38 14
Liaoning 24 201 207 34 14 81 8
Jilin 2 74 74 7 9 47 3
Heilongjiang 2 102 130 7 13 51 5
Shanghai 0 101 187 21 15 51 6
Jiangsu 11 649 229 67 99 98 17
Zhejiang 4 405 204 44 23 96 12
Anhui 6 349 105 13 19 79 9
Fujian 5 159 78 4 10 38 4
Jiangxi 3 128 114 2 18 42 5
Shandong 59 756 292 61 19 195 21
Henan 40 428 417 16 40 106 16
Hubei 10 167 151 22 21 58 6
Hunan 4 118 120 10 32 54 5
Guangdong 3 399 325 7 74 193 15
Guangxi 5 66 77 3 17 34 3
Hainan 1 27 21 1 3 11 1
Chongqing 4 55 90 2 36 22 3
Sichuan 11 55 152 4 30 65 5
Guizhou 12 147 128 1 11 26 5
Yunnan 6 36 111 0 20 43 3
Shaanxi 6 237 479 23 12 42 12
Gansu 3 109 71 25 6 30 4
Qinghai 0 19 22 7 4 9 1
Ningxia 2 161 33 2 4 12 3
Xinjiang 50 233 108 5 12 38 7
Tab.1  Costs of seven measures in the 30 cities and provinces in China during the 5-year implementation period of the “Air Plan” (in RMB 100 million)
Fig.4  Air quality improvement and its benefits in 30 Chinese cities and provinces during the 5-year implementation period of the “Air Plan”: (a) Air quality improvement due to the “Air Plan”; (b) Health benefits of the “Air Plan”; (c) Other benefits of the “Air Plan”.
Fig.5  Net benefits and benefit-cost ratio in 30 cities and provinces during the five-year implementation period of the “Air Plan”.
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