Grant is closed

Oct 2014 – Mar 2018

China Air Quality



China – East Asia

To accelerate the adoption of new climate-smart norms in China’s cities and energy systems by driving the implementation and enforcement of key measures which reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

$9,184,812 Grant Value

$500,000 evaluation budget

Other funders

  • ClimateWorks

The programme funds technical assistance for cities to:

  • Develop robust air quality action plans which include key 'co-control' measures reducing both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Share international best practice on enforcement mechanisms in order to help improve standards and increase the likelihood of greater implementation
  • Provide international best practice on key co-control mechanisms such as low emission and congestion charging zones to enable the Beijing city government to assess the feasibility of implementing the concept

Since this grant was first made, Energy Foundation China (EFC) has developed an “Air Quality Management Index” and a set of “Enforcement Management Indicators”. Based on these metrics, EFC’s partner Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC) has conducted a National Air Quality Management Assessment. This is an annual assessment of the strength of existing air quality management efforts by municipal governments and of the latest air pollution levels in Chinese cities. 

This is a first-of-its-kind independent assessment on the air quality policy implementation of the local governments. The assessment report was covered by media and also presented to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). 


The investment aims to contribute to a potential reduction of 1,210 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2017, plus air quality benefits.

1.2 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent is about the same as the annual emissions from more than 520 million cows

By Sept 2016, 22 original articles based on the research and information collated as part of this programme were posted or broadcasted by mainstream media, including People’s Daily.


The World Resources Institute (WRI) conducted public opinion surveys with regard to the congestion charge and the impacts it will have on air quality. About 10,000 people were interviewed and the results showed that there is still a need for broader communication on the health benefits of air quality improvement. To better communicate the messages, WRI has worked with partners to produce a 30-minute feature for TV, educating the public on the merits of the reducing congestion in cities. The TV programme was aired on Beijing Finance TV, one of the most popular local channels, in September 2016.