The Effectiveness of the EEP Plan in Beijing


China’s economic system has developed quickly in the previous 40 years since the reform and opening up. However, China’s irrational financial construction, low efficiency of useful resource utilization and critical environmental air pollution have develop into vital elements proscribing the long-term wholesome improvement of China’s economic system. More importantly, air pollution points in China critically have an effect on the improvement of the regime resulting from public considerations in phrases of well being points. In 2014, senior authorities officials mentioned publicly that China would “declare war on pollution.” Since then, air air pollution has improved to a sure extent, with PM 2.5 ranges falling 23.6 p.c from 2013 to 2015, however nonetheless falling far quick of individuals’s expectations. In 2016, the Chinese authorities promised in the EEP plan to make up for the shortfall and strengthen environmental safety. The Five-Year Plan initially refers to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) main position in setting development targets and launching reforms to map methods for financial improvement. Since the tenth Five-Year Plan handed in 2001, all subsequent plans have included rules and objectives for shielding the atmosphere inside the agenda.

Internationally, with the speedy improvement of China’s economic system it has developed into one of the largest economies in the world. Accordingly, it has develop into one of the nations with the most critical air air pollution issues. In 2014, China surpassed the United States and have become the largest emitter of the greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for 27 p.c of world emissions. Environmental issues, particularly air issues, are usually not an area drawback however are a regional one. In a current podcast for the Center for International Strategic Studies, Sandalow mentioned that if China retains the present price of greenhouse gasoline emission, the world common temperature will rise by 3.6 levels Fahrenheit in 2030. As the greatest nation answerable for local weather change, the success or failure of China’s environmental coverage targets could have an ideal affect on the capacity of world society to restrict human-induced local weather change. Examining the effectiveness of China’s environmental coverage has world implications.

From China’s home perspective, urbanization and financial improvement certainly alleviate China’s poverty situation. However, there’s a lot proof that reveals the affect of environmental air pollution is the foremost supply of morbidity and mortality in China. Air high quality has develop into a significant concern of the authorities. On one hand, social media has pushed air high quality to the forefront. As the air high quality will get worse, the Chinese authorities faces home public opinion stress and stress from worldwide society. Tang et al. present that in the interval from 2011 to 2015, about 40 p.c of petitions have been about air air pollution. Even as an authoritarian regime, the authorities is worried about public opinion, and has been actively responding to considerations. Evidence reveals that Chinese dissatisfaction with environmental circumstances has considerably affected the environment-related funding of Chinese provincial governments. Environmental issues deliver hidden risks to private security, but in addition tremendously have an effect on the financial vitality of China. Evidence reveals that ambient air air pollution brought on greater than 1.6 million deaths in mainland China, whereas the complete financial loss in 2013 was equal to 10.9 p.c of GDP. Therefore, how the Chinese authorities responds to environmental issues is important.

Beijing, in explicit, as the capital of China is known as the “Fog Capital.” In January 2013, suffocating smog enveloped Beijing for 4 consecutive days. The particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in the air reached the highest degree in historical past, inflicting the airport to shut, and respiratory issues amongst residents resulting in hospital therapy. The air air pollution in Beijing in 2013 was known as “the end of the air.”

This analysis assesses the affect of current PRC coverage on air air pollution ranges in China’s capital metropolis, Beijing. With the speedy improvement of China’s economic system and the speedy enlargement of urbanization in China’s main cities, the drawback of environmental air pollution has develop into the focus of coverage leaders in China, and the world over. The globalization of info sharing has resulted in China’s environmental air pollution drawback step by step coming into the consideration of the worldwide public. However, the Chinese authorities is not any stranger to the introduction of environmental safety insurance policies. After realizing the environmental issues in the Eighties, the Chinese authorities formulated and issued a collection of pointers, insurance policies, legal guidelines and measures. However, these weren’t effective in lowering air air pollution. After reviewing environmental legal guidelines in China, Wang argues that the laws was of low high quality, had many ideas, and was too difficult to implement. 2013 was a horrible 12 months for China’s atmosphere resulting from excessive ranges of air air pollution, and develop into recognized in China as the PM 2.5 Crisis.

A research based mostly on knowledge from 2013 discovered that greater than 257,000 untimely deaths in 31 cities in China have been associated to excessive PM 2.5 ranges. Therefore, growing public dissatisfaction with the environmental state of affairs has prompted the authorities to take environmental points extra critically. Our research makes use of day by day and month-to-month air high quality knowledge (together with PM 2.5 and AQI) from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2019 from Beijing to evaluate whether or not or not there have been important enhancements in Beijing’s air high quality since the implementation of the EEP Plan on November, 16th, 2016. Control variables used in the research embrace wind scale and temperature. Using comparability of means exams in addition to mixed-effect regression fashions, this research measures the affiliation of coverage implementation with cleaner air in Beijing with respect to 2 widespread indicators of air high quality, PM 2.2 and AQI.

Through a range of exams, the findings present that Beijing skilled a common decline in air air pollution previous to the implementation of the coverage. Air air pollution ranges have been significantly decrease after implementation of the coverage in comparison with prior. When controlling for out of doors elements, implementation of the coverage was discovered to significantly cut back air pollution. Using a two-level mixed-effects regression mannequin, when controlling exterior elements and evaluating post-treatment tendencies to pre-treatment tendencies, the outcomes present that the coverage implementation interval was related to significantly lowering air air pollution in the nation’s capital. It is obvious the air air pollution in Beijing is bettering. However, it’s much less clear as as to whether the implementation of the EEP Plan is the foremost trigger of such reductions.

Importance of Study

Understanding China’s environmental insurance policies and progress in direction of cleansing up its air is of the utmost significance. China’s speedy financial development has led to many environmental issues. Its financial improvement largely will depend on coal vitality for greater than 85 p.c of its vitality manufacturing. Though an important supply of employment serving to to carry thousands and thousands of individuals out of poverty in China, it’s damaging to the atmosphere and has straight led to environmental degradation and to smog encompassing many cities. Researchers at the Berkeley Earth Project discovered that 92 p.c of Chinese individuals have been in sub-healthy air for greater than 120 hours in the 4 months of mid-2014. Such air contamination has brought on large human and financial prices in China. For instance, excessive ranges of air air pollution severely hurt public well being. A research by the Institute for Health Impact discovered that unhealthy ranges of PM 2.5 in China in 2017 led to untimely deaths of about 852,000 individuals.

Furthermore, air air pollution additionally brings financial prices. According to a 2015 report by Rand, well being issues and misplaced labor productiveness as a result of of air air pollution reached 6.5 p.c of China’s GDP per 12 months between 2000 and 2010. Similarly, a 2018 examination by the Chinese University of Hong Kong estimates that $38 billion of income is misplaced yearly resulting from early deaths and misplaced meals manufacturing because of this of air air pollution.

Ecological Environmental Protection Plan Background

The EEP Plan is a nationwide environmental five-year safety plan. It can be a guideline for the sub-national ranges of authorities straight beneath the nationwide authorities to observe. The governments at these native ranges will formulate detailed implementation guidelines based on their specific environments, which varies from metropolis to metropolis, and thereby attempt to satisfy the necessities set forth in the EEP Plan. The implementation of the plan is supervised by all ranges of the environmental division straight affiliated with MEP. The plan requires the following approaches to succeed in its environmental objectives.

First, all sub-national ranges of governments straight beneath the nationwide authorities are to encourage inexperienced improvement, coordinate the relationship between financial improvement and environmental air pollution by supporting inexperienced industries, set up inexperienced factories and industrial parks in addition to eradicate closely polluting factories. Second, inter-regional and inter-departmental emergency coordination mechanisms are to be set as much as deal with emergency environmental points. Third, the NPC requires these sub-national governments to enhance the environmental safety accountability system with clear tasks and affordable division of labor. For occasion, the common necessities set forth by MEP states that each one governments at the provincial degree, autonomous area degree, and the prefecture-level formulate their very own jurisdictional targets in mixture with the MEP common targets and their explicit circumstances. The subordinate governments straight beneath these jurisdictions shall handle and implement these targets at different ranges. Last, the plan goals to enhance legislation enforcement on air pollution emissions. In order to succeed in this purpose, the plan implements a vertical administration system to observe and supervise legislation enforcement. Vertical administration system refers to the independence of the environmental division from the native authorities to develop into beneath the direct jurisdiction of MEP. The environmental division and the native authorities as two unbiased native environmental authorities supervise the environmental high quality and share the accountability by way of coordination, and thereby improve the legislation enforcement of the environmental rules.


We check the following speculation to evaluate whether or not or not there have been enhancements in Beijing’s air high quality since the November 16th, 2016 implementation of the EEP Plan:

  • Null Hypothesis: The EEP plan doesn’t have a significant affect on Beijing’s air air pollution ranges (AQI and PM 2.5). Daily AQI and PM 2.5 deviations from the aggregated month-to-month imply are usually not significantly different after coverage implementation in comparison with ranges previous to it.
  • Hypothesis One: Implementation China’s EEP plan significantly reduces PM 2.5 (and air high quality index) in Beijing. PM 2.5 and AQI deviations from their aggregated month-to-month imply are significantly decrease after coverage implementation in comparison with ranges previous to it.
  • Hypothesis Two: When controlling for out of doors elements, coverage implementation will likely be a major issue in lowering air air pollution in Beijing. The coverage affect on PM 2.5 and AQI deviations will likely be important and adverse demonstrating that it has considerably cut back air air pollution in Beijing.

Scope of Research

The hypotheses listed above are examined utilizing quantitative knowledge from a range of sources complied right into a single database. Data measuring day by day Air Quality Index (AQI) and PM 2.5 index printed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection for Beijing taken between January 1st, 2014 and December thirty first, 2019 are used in the research as indicators of air air pollution. Using STATA statistical software program, this analysis undertake a two-level mixed-effects regression evaluation to evaluate the affect of the EEP Plan on lowering air air pollution, whereas controlling for out of doors elements and seasonal month-to-month variation in climate patterns that impact air pollution ranges.

Because this analysis makes use of longitudinal knowledge from Beijing over a six-year time interval with day by day observations of air high quality ranges and management elements, bizarre least squares regression evaluation is just not applicable. While the coefficients are unbiased estimators of the effects of covariates on air high quality, there’s a liberal bias in the commonplace errors, ensuing in higher probability of finding a statistical relationship when one doesn’t exist. As such, this research adopts a mixed-effects mannequin, permitting for fixed effects of the month in which the commentary occurred. For causes outlined beneath, the month in which a measurement occurred impacts air high quality. From the scatterplot for each PM 2.5 and AQI for Beijing over time, it’s clear that there are seasonal tendencies in each the absolute ranges and the deviations from their month-to-month imply. Controlling for effects at the month-to-month degree will management for latent variables not included in the evaluation and measure their effect on air high quality, whereas measuring the variables of curiosity for his or her effects.

Dependent Variables

As talked about above, this research adopts two vital observational knowledge routinely measured as an indicator of air air pollution: Air Quality Index (AQI) and Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5). PM 2.5 refers to particles with aerodynamic equal diameter lower than or equal to 2.5 microns in ambient air. It is related to the burning of gasoline for vitality, automotive emissions, as nicely industrial output from flamable processes. The greater its focus in the air, the extra critical the air air pollution is in a given space. AQI is an index of a number of pollution utilized by governmental companies to speak to the public what the present air high quality is or what it’s forecast to develop into. AQI ranges vary from 0 to 500, whereas PM 2.5 ranges from 0 to infinity, the place in each circumstances, the greater worth, the higher the air air pollution. Table 1 beneath shows the abstract statistics of the day by day AQI and PM 2.5 knowledge.

AQI and PM 2.5 values are extremely seasonal, with greater ranges in chilly winter months and decrease ranges throughout hotter months. Therefore, this analysis adjusts for seasonal variation by analyzing a specific day’s AQI or PM 2.5 worth’s deviation from the month-to-month imply, which is calculated throughout all day by day values in that specific month for all six years of the research. For instance, all AQI and PM 2.5 values in any explicit January in the research are subtracted by the common AQI or PM 2.5 worth for all Januaries in the research. In this manner, this paper examines the day by day air pollution degree skilled relative to the common day by day degree in that specific month. If the coverage modifications aimed to scale back air pollution is just not effective, we’d anticipate to see the day by day deviations distributed randomly about the imply for every month, i.e. near zero. However, if the coverage is profitable, then we’d anticipate to see the deviations from the month-to-month imply lower over time.

Independent and Control Variables

As mentioned all through the paper, the variable of curiosity is the coverage implementation of the Ecological Environmental Protection Plan, made effective November sixteenth, 2016. This is a dummy variable taking over a price of 0 previous to the implementation of the coverage and 1 thereafter.

The research controls for 3 different elements crucial to air air pollution ranges in a metropolis: most and minimal temperatures and wind velocity. As famous above, decrease temperatures induce higher ranges of coal and wooden burning for warmth. As such, this analysis management for the day by day minimal temperature in every of the cities. Though air con items are usually not almost as ubiquitous in houses in China as they’re in the United States, they’re almost universally discovered in purchasing areas all through China and in houses in southern China. As such, this analysis additionally management for max day by day temperature skilled in every of the cities. Higher temperatures are more likely to elicit higher want for electrical energy and due to this fact an elevated price of burning coal to generate further electrical energy to satisfy this elevated demand. Both temperature measurements are measured in Celsius.

Wind scale refers to the velocity of the wind, a significant influencing issue of air high quality since the wind scale affects the velocity of diffusion of atmospheric pollution. Conversely, the decrease the wind velocity, the extra pollution will accumulate in the metropolis, ensuing in dangerous air high quality. Since there are different wind scales of every day, to unify variables, this analysis utilized the highest wind scale of every day. Data for these variables comes additionally from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Research Strategy

To estimate the results of the EPP Plan coverage implementation on the air high quality in Beijing we make use of a number of methods. First, we summarize the annual air air pollution ranges from 2014 to 2019. Then, resulting from seasonal climate variation, we conduct month-by-month comparability of means exams evaluating the day by day pre-policy deviations from the month-to-month imply for PM 2.5 and AQI ranges with these of the post-policy ranges. Next, we examine the annual common of day by day deviations from the month-to-month imply for pre-policy ranges in opposition to post-policy ranges utilizing a two-sample t-test. Last, to estimate the affect that the coverage had on the common month-to-month deviations from the imply we conduct a two-level mixed-effect regression mannequin controlling for results at the month-to-month degree.


Table 2 shows the annual abstract statistics of PM 2.5 and AQI degree, in addition to every indicator’s common day by day deviation from the month-to-month imply. Consistently, from 2014 to 2019 ranges for each air high quality indicators and their day by day deviations from the month-to-month imply decreased. In 2014, for instance, PM 2.5 and AQI ranges averaged 83.5 and 119.6 respectively. By 2019 they fell to 42.4 for PM 2.5 and 73.6 for AQI. Furthermore, we see that common day by day deviations for each PM 2.5 and AQI persistently optimistic in all years previous to the coverage, and adverse in all years after the coverage implantation. These tendencies counsel that the implantation of the EEP Plan coverage could also be bettering air high quality, and thus driving down PM 2.5 and AQI ranges.

It is obvious from the annual abstract statistics of air high quality in Beijing discovered in Table 2 that there have been enhancements in the annual air high quality ranges. However, it’s not clear if these variations have been statistically completely different. Table 3, beneath, shows the outcomes of distinction of means exams evaluating the imply day by day PM 2.5 and the AQI deviations from the month-to-month means for every indicator. Tests are performed month-by-month.

In all however two months of the 12 months we discovered a major distinction between the pre-policy PM 2.5 deviation ranges in comparison with post-policy ranges. Post-policy ranges have been considerably decrease all through the 12 months, besides in the months of January (p<0.069) and May (p<0.23). The largest variations have been discovered in the months of October and November, with imply variations of 45.7 and 42.4, respectively, of PM 2.5 deviations from month-to-month imply after coverage implementation. The smallest variations have been discovered in the months of May and June, with imply PM 2.5 deviation variations of 6.8 and 14.8, respectively. Results for AQI deviations from the month-to-month imply are almost equivalent, with the exception that there was no important distinction between pre/post-policy ranges in the month of June.

We then examined the common day by day deviations from the month-to-month imply pre-policy implementation to the common day by day deviations post-policy. Table 4 reveals that each annual means of PM 2.5 and AQI day by day deviation from the month-to-month imply are considerably completely different, with post-policy implementation being, on common, 25 PM 2.5 factors and 24 AQI factors decrease than the month-to-month imply in comparison with pre-policy ranges.

The outcomes from the comparability of means exams lead us to reject the null speculation in help of our first speculation. From the knowledge we see that there’s a important distinction between air high quality ranges in Beijing previous to coverage implementation in comparison with after its implementation. However, we can not decide the dimension of the affect that the coverage has on lowering PM 2.5 and AQI ranges. Furthermore, we can not rule out outdoors elements similar to wind ranking and temperature as various explanations until we management for these elements. To do this, and check the second speculation, we conduct two-level mixed-effect regression fashions.

In order to measure the results of the EEP plan coverage implementation on Beijing, whereas controlling for different elements, a two-level blended impact mannequin is launched. In these fashions, month-to-month means are analyzed from the aggregated day by day knowledge. Models for each PM 2.5 and AQI are offered with outcomes proven in Table 4.

Auto-correlation presents a possible drawback for longitudinal knowledge. As such, each fashions undertake a one-month lag to appropriate for this auto-correlation. The want for this was identified two methods. First, a linear regression was run with three covariates, coverage implementation, minimal temperature, and wind scale. From these regressions, the Durbin-Watson statistic indicated optimistic auto-correlation. Second, utilizing the Cumby-Huizinga check, auto-correlation was discovered to be considerably current at the first lag. As such, these fashions undertake one lag for the two-level mixed-effect regression.

The outcomes of the mixed-effect regressions for each PM 2.5 and AQI are strikingly comparable, regardless of whether or not minimal temperature or most temperature is included in the mannequin, lending help to the robustness of the mannequin. In the curiosity of brevity, outcomes are reported for PM 2.5 with most temperature included in the mannequin. From Table 5 beneath, we see that implementation of the coverage accounts for, on common, a 16.7 level discount of PM 2.5 ranges in every month. This is critical at the p<.001 degree, offering proof in help of the second speculation. Additionally, temperature and wind scale are usually not considerably associated to imply month-to-month reductions in air high quality. The residual variation amongst the months is 325 factors for PM 2.5 and 405 factors for AQI imply month-to-month deviations.


From these findings we take away a number of key factors. First, Beijing’s air high quality has considerably improved post-policy implementation in comparison with pre-policy implementation in ten out of twelve months of the 12 months, each in phrases of PM 2.5 and AQI. In all twelve months, each indicators’ day by day ranges have been, on common, decrease than their month-to-month imply after the EEP Plan was carried out, whereas, in distinction, each indicators have been, on common, higher than their month-to-month imply for all twelve months previous to coverage implementation.

The biggest enhancements in air high quality have been skilled in the 5 coolest months, October by way of February. The common distinction in air high quality ranges from pre- to post-policy implementation was 37 factors decrease in these months in comparison with 17.7 factors decrease for the remaining seven months. That is to say that the coverage was best in bettering air high quality throughout the colder months. However, there have been a number of months in the post-policy implementation interval that most temperatures have been considerably hotter when in comparison with the identical months in the pre-policy implementation years. For occasion, the months of May, June and September have been 1.2 to 1.8 levels Celsius hotter. Furthermore, minimal temperatures have been considerably cooler in October and November after coverage implementation by 1.3 to 1.6 levels. The minimal temperature in July was considerably hotter post-policy implementation by 1.1 levels Celsius. There have been no different important variations in temperature amongst the remaining months. In quick, regardless of considerably colder temperatures in some of the winter months, and hotter temperatures in July, the post-policy implementation interval skilled improved air high quality.

Second, the knowledge means that with cautious coverage implementation China’s leaders can enhance its air high quality round the nation. Beijing is China’s second largest metropolis and perennially ranked as one of the high 200 most polluted cities in the world. If coverage makers can implement methods to clear up Beijing’s air, they may have a mannequin that they’ll use in equally located cities.

Last, China’s success is the world’s success. Successful insurance policies which can be efficient at cleansing up China’s air will enhance air high quality for China’s regional neighbors on the Korean Peninsula, and to a lesser diploma Taiwan and Japan. Additionally, China will contribute a smaller share of the world greenhouse emissions and function a mannequin to different creating nations, similar to India, that efficient environmental administration is just not merely a chimera, however is certainly attainable.

Further Reading on E-International Relations

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