Cost-effective approaches for reducing carbon and air pollution emissions in the power industry in China

J Environ Manage. 2020 Jun 15;264:110452. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110452. Epub 2020 Mar 26.


The power industry of China plays an important role in reducing the carbon dioxide (CO2) and air pollutant emissions. This paper focuses on synergistic CO2 and air pollution emission reduction by implementing technical and structural measures, and explores the processes aimed at achieving the co-benefits of carbon reduction and air pollution control effectively in the power industry at a local level. The results of the analysis show that the structural measures achieve overall co-benefits, and the technical measures have a good effect in reducing the air pollution, but simultaneously increase CO2 emissions because of the additional electricity used for running air pollution control devices (APCDs). Based on the analysis of the power generation incremental cost and pollutant emission reduction cost, cost-effective approaches to attain different emission reduction targets are proposed to the power industry in four case regions. These approaches can provide policy makers and stakeholders useful and relevant policy and operation recommendations to reduce CO2 and air pollution emissions cost-effectively and promote low carbon sustainability in the power industry of China.

Keywords: Air pollution; CO(2) emissions; China; Co-benefits; Cost-effective approaches; Power plants.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants*
  • Air Pollution*
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • China
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Industry


  • Air Pollutants
  • Carbon Dioxide