Articles

37 Items

Earthrise over the Moon

NASA/Bill Anders

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Policy Design for the Anthropocene

    Authors:
  • Thomas Sterner
  • Edward B. Barbier
  • Ian Bateman
  • Inge van den Bijgaart
  • Anne-Sophie Crépin
  • Ottmar Edenhofer
  • Carolyn Fischer
  • Wolfgang Habla
  • John Hassler
  • Olof Johansson-Stenman
  • Andreas Lange
  • Stephen Polasky
  • Johan Rockström
  • Henrik G. Smith
  • Will Steffen
  • James E. Wilen
  • Francisco Alpízar
  • Christian Azar
  • Donna Carless
  • Carlos Chávez
  • Jessica Coria
  • Gustav Engström
  • Sverker C. Jagers
  • Gunnar Köhlin
  • Åsa Löfgren
  • Håkan Pleijel
  • Amanda Robinson
| 2019

The authors examine the complexities of designing policies that can keep Earth within the biophysical limits favorable to human life.

a man looks up near smoke spewing from a chimney near the Jiujiang steel and rolling mills in Qianan

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Nature Sustainability

Air Quality–Carbon–Water Synergies and Trade-offs in China's Natural Gas Industry

    Authors:
  • Yue Qin
  • Lena Höglund-Isaksson
  • Edward Byers
  • Kuishuang Feng
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| Sep. 14, 2018

Both energy production and consumption can simultaneously affect regional air quality, local water stress and the global climate. Identifying the air quality–carbon–water interactions due to both energy sources and end-uses is important for capturing potential co-benefits while avoiding unintended consequences when designing sustainable energy transition pathways. The authors examine the air quality–carbon–water interdependencies of China's six major natural gas sources and three end-use gas-for-coal substitution strategies in 2020.

A Chinese power plant.

Wikimedia CC/Tobixen

Journal Article - Journal of Cleaner Production

Changing Carbon Content of Chinese Coal and Implications for Emissions of CO2

| September 2018

The changing carbon content of coal consumed in China between 2002 and 2012 is quantified using information from the power sector. The carbon content decreased by 7.7% over this interval, the decrease particularly pronounced between 2007 and 2009. Inferences with respect to the changing carbon content of coal and the oxidation rate for its consumption, combined with the recent information on coal use in China, are employed to evaluate the trend in emissions of CO2. Emissions are estimated to have increased by 158% between 2002 and 2012, from 3.9 Gt y-1 to 9.2 Gt y-1.

solar panels are seen near the power grid in northwestern China

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Climate, Air Quality and Human Health Benefits of Various Solar Photovoltaic Deployment Scenarios in China in 2030

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xiaoyuan Li
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2018

Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can greatly reduce both air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel electricity generation. The Chinese government plans to greatly scale up solar PV installation between now and 2030. However, different PV development pathways will influence the range of air quality and climate benefits. Benefits depend on how much electricity generated from PV is integrated into power grids and the type of power plant displaced. Using a coal-intensive power sector projection as the base case, the authors estimate the climate, air quality, and related human health benefits of various 2030 PV deployment scenarios.

A woman wears a face mask as she looks at her smartphone while walking along a street in Beijing

AP

Journal Article - Applied Energy

Potential Co-benefits of Electrification for Air Quality, Health, and CO2 Mitigation in 2030 China

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xi Lu
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| May 15, 2018

Electrification with decarbonized electricity is a central strategy for carbon mitigation. End-use electrification can also reduce air pollutant emissions from the demand sectors, which brings public health co-benefits. In this article, the authors focus on electrification strategies for China, a country committed to both reducing air pollution and peaking carbon emissions before 2030. Considering both coal-intensive and decarbonized power system scenarios for 2030, they assess the air quality, health, and climate co-benefits of various end-use electrification scenarios for the vehicle and residential sectors relative to a non-electrified coal-intensive business-as-usual scenario.

Electric Vehicle Battery Model

Wikimedia CC/ DKMcLaren

Journal Article - Applied Energy

Cradle-to-gate Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Battery Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles in China

    Authors:
  • Fuquan Zhao
  • Zongwei Liu
  • Han Hao
| October 2017

Electric drive vehicles are equipped with totally different propulsion systems compared with conventional vehicles, for which the energy consumption and cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicle production could substantially change. In this study, the life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of vehicle production are compared between battery electric and internal combustion engine vehicles in China's context.

Shanghai

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Air Quality and Climate Benefits of Long-distance Electricity Transmission in China

    Authors:
  • Jiahai Yuan
  • Yu Zhao
  • Meiyun Lin
  • Qiang Zhang
  • David G. Victor
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2017

China is the world's top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. It has recently made commitments to improve air quality and to peak its CO2 emissions by 2030. The authors examine one strategy that can potentially address both issues—utilizing long-distance electricity transmission to bring renewable power to the polluted eastern provinces. 

Visitors in a park gesture at each other near chimneys spewing smoke in Beijing, China

AP

Journal Article - Science of the Total Environment

Substantial Air Quality and Climate Co-benefits Achievable Now with Sectoral Mitigation Strategies in China

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| November 2017

China is the world's top carbon emitter and suffers from severe air pollution. The authors examine near-term air quality and CO2 co-benefits of various current sector-based policies in China. Their analysis hence highlights the importance of even modest industrial energy efficiency improvements and air pollution control technology upgrades for air quality, health and climate benefits in China.

A worker waits to shovel coal to feed kitchen stoves at the Liuminying village in Beijing, China

AP

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Air Quality, Health, and Climate Implications of China’s Synthetic Natural Gas Development

    Authors:
  • Yue Qin
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Noah Scovronick
  • Junnan Yang
  • Tong Zhu
  • Kirk R. Smith
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| Mar. 06, 2017

China’s coal-based synthetic natural gas (SNG) projects can reduce air pollution and associated premature mortality by substituting for direct coal use in power, industry, and households. These benefits, however, come with increased CO2 emissions unless carbon capture and storage (CCS) is applied in SNG production. Even with CCS, SNG has higher CO2 emissions than conventional natural gas. In the United States, increases in natural gas supplies have been primarily deployed to the power sector. In China, however, due to inefficient and uncontrolled coal combustion in households, we find that allocating currently available SNG to the residential sector provides the largest air quality and health benefits and smallest climate penalties compared with allocation to the power or industrial sectors.

A rural stove using biomass cakes, fuelwood and trash as cooking fuel... It is a major source of air pollution in India, and produces smoke and numerous indoor air pollutants at concentrations 5 times higher than coal.

Wikipedia

Journal Article - Nature Energy

Energy decisions reframed as justice and ethical concerns

| 6 May 2016

Many energy consumers, and even analysts and policymakers, confront and frame energy and climate risks in a moral vacuum, rarely incorporating broader social justice concerns. Here, to remedy this gap, we investigate how concepts from justice and ethics can inform energy decision-making by reframing five energy problems — nuclear waste, involuntary resettlement, energy pollution, energy poverty and climate change — as pressing justice concerns.