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Regional air quality management in China: the 2010 Guideline on Strengthening Joint Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution

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This paper examines a new initiative to build a region–based air quality management system in the People's Republic of China, and identify its key features, significance and potential challenges. This Guideline on Strengthening Joint Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution to Improve Air Quality is a major new policy initiative developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and other ministries, and was endorsed by the State Council in May 2010. It was developed in part based on the experience of the Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games, which demonstrated that air pollution in China is regional and cannot be addressed by provinces acting individually. It is hoped that this new initiative could enable MEP to better encourage and coordinate air quality management and strengthen policy implementation especially at the local level. This paper concludes with policy implications and recommendations.

Keywords: China, air quality management, regional air quality, regional air pollution, air pollution management, Ministry of Environmental Protection, SEPA, State Environmental Protection Administration, Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, policy implementation, implementation gap, local government, provincial government, regional supervision centres, Five–Year Plan, Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo, Guangzhou Asian Games, joint prevention and control

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