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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improvement of China’s air pollution (sulphur dioxide and acid rain) control and countermeasures by introducing emissions trading system You, Shijun


As human beings, we rely on the atmospheric environment as a valuable resource for our daily needs. Destruction of this environment is usually an irreversible process. Attempting to restore an already damaged atmospheric environment is much more costly than preventing atmospheric pollution in the first place. As has been the case with the industrialization of western countries, Asia‘s social and economic development has created an awareness of new problems of environmental pollution and ecological degradation. Data collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) indicate that particulates transported in the air from East Asia to North America represent about 15% of the total particulate production in North America. China, as the largest developing country located in Asia, has experienced a dramatic increase in energy demands and pollutant emissions. This is partly because coal is the primary source of energy for China, something that is not expected to change in the foreseeable future. The country is not meeting its established objectives on air pollution abatement and the current administrative mechanisms are not providing adequate solutions for sulphur dioxide or acid rain problems. In response to this, the Chinese government is looking for more effective ways to balance economic growth and pollution control. One such mechanism for China could be an emissions trading program aimed at adjusting and improving air pollutant control mechanisms. This research is primarily an exploration of introducing an emissions trading system, which has played a significant and effective role in sulphur dioxide and acid rain control in US, aiming at adjusting and improving the air pollutant control mechanism in China. In terms of the feasibility analysis, with the improvement of China‘s special market economy conditions, integrating market mechanisms with "total amount control" to establish China‘s own emissions trading system, which is also known as "cap & trade", is likely to contribute greatly to sulphur dioxide and acid rain control in China. A recommended design and implementation roadmap for China‘s emissions trading scheme has also been conducted in this research.

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