Upon economic booming and rapid urbanization, China has been suffering from severe air pollution problem. While the Chinese government strives to reduce emissions through numerous laws, standards and policy measures, rapid economic and social changes challenge policy design and implementation. Over time, control policies have been largely ineffective and air quality in the majority of the nation has not been significantly improved and even worsened in many urban areas. This chapter reviews the development of the air pollution control policies in China’s nearly 70 years’ history and discusses some political and institutional factors that have resulted in the ineffectiveness of policy implementation. We examined the pollution charge system, a key policy measure used in air pollution regulation between 1980s and 2000s, and highlighted some major changes in control policies since 2000s. A comparison of pollution control policies between China and the United States is also presented. The purpose of this chapter is to inform decision makers, particularly in the developing world, with some insights of improving policy designs and environmental governance in the control of air pollution.
Part of the book: Energy Management for Sustainable Development