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The Impact of “Coal to Gas” Policy on Air Quality:Evidence from Beijing, China


Air pollution has become an increasingly serious environmental problem in China. Especially in winter, the air pollution in northern China becomes even worse due to winter heating. The “coal to gas” policy, which uses natural gas to replace coal in the heating system in winter, was implemented in Beijing in the year 2013. However, the effects of this policy reform have not been examined. Using a panel dataset of 16 districts in Beijing, this paper employs a first difference model to examine the impact of the “coal to gas” policy on air quality. Strong evidence shows that the “coal to gas” policy has significantly improved the air quality in Beijing. On average, the “coal to gas” policy reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter smaller than 10 µm (PM10), particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) by 12.08%, 4.89%, 13.07%, 11.94% and 11.10% per year, respectively. We find that the “coal to gas” policy is more effective in areas with less energy use efficiency. The finding of this paper suggests that the government should continue to implement the “coal to gas” policy, so as to alleviate the air pollution in Beijing, China.


Keywords: air pollution; coal to gas; winter heating; Beijing.




Liu, Z., Chen, X.,  Cai, J., Baležentis, T., Li, Y. 2020. The Impact of “Coal to Gas” Policy on Air Quality:Evidence from Beijing, China. Energies. Vol. 13, Issue 15, 3876; EISSN 1996-1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153876; [AGORA (FAO)external link; AGRIS - Agricultural Sciences and Technology (FAO)external link; CAB Abstracts (CABI)external link; Chemical Abstracts (ACS)external link; Current Contents - Engineering, Computing & Technology (Clarivate Analytics)external link; DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journalsexternal link; EconPapers (RePEc)external link; Ei Compendex / Engineering Village (Elsevier)external link; ETDE - Energy Technology Data Exchange (IEA)external link; Genamics JournalSeekexternal link; HINARI (WHO)external link; IDEAS (RePEc)external link; Inspec (IET)external link; Journal Citation Reports / Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Julkaisufoorumi Publication Forum (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies)external link; LAPSE - Living Archive for Process Systems Engineeringexternal link; Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers (NSD)external link; RePEcexternal link; Science Citation Index Expanded - Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Scopus (Elsevier)external link; Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)].


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