Curbing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Industrial Boilers in China
China's industrial boiler systems consume 700 million tons of coal annually, accounting for 18% of the nation's total coal consumption. Together these boiler systems are one of the major sources of China's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, producing approximately 1.3 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. These boiler systems are also responsible for 33% and 27% of total soot and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in China, respectively, making a substantial contribution to China's local environmental degradation. The Chinese government — at both the national and local level — is taking actions to mitigate the significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution related to the country's extensive use of coal-fired industrial boilers. The United States and China are pursuing a collaborative effort under the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to conduct a comprehensive assessment of China's coal-fired industrial boilers and to develop an implementation roadmap that will improve industrial boiler efficiency and maximize fuel-switching opportunities. Two Chinese cities — Ningbo and Xi'an — have been selected for the assessment. These cities represent coastal areas with access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and inland regions with access to interprovincial natural gas pipelines, respectively.