Report: Air pollution battlefield brings investment opportunities
China's efforts to control air pollution will provide a new impetus for economic growth, with investment opportunities of 20 trillion yuan ($3.2 trillion) in the coming 12 years, according to a report by an antipollution industry group.
The market potential lies in six major sectors, including coal pollution control, reduction of volatile organic compound emissions and environmental monitoring.
The report, titled China's Clean Air Market Outlook 2030, was published on Tuesday by the Bluetech Clean Air Alliance, an industry alliance based in Beijing's Zhongguancun Science Park, known as China's Silicon Valley.
The alliance promotes air pollution control technology and the development of related industries. Experts from Beijing Normal University, Beihang University and the Asia-Pacific Consulting Center for Environment and Development participated in the writing of the report.
Among the investment opportunities it mentioned, the new energy vehicles industry, including cars, buses and charging services, will reach 14 trillion yuan, and the indoor air purifying industry will reach 1.7 trillion yuan by 2030.
More than 20 million metric tons of emissions of volatile organic compounds will be reduced and will result in investment opportunities of 800 billion yuan, it said.
Meanwhile, the market value of environment monitoring facilities may surpass 80 billion yuan.
The report also said the scale of the cement, coking and steel industries will be reduced by more than 30 percent by 2030 from what they were in 2012, and 40 percent of the sales volume in the auto market will be electric vehicles.
The national standard for the concentration of PM 2.5 - or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less - is 35 micrograms per cubic meter. Currently, however, 70 percent of Chinese cities have yet to meet that standard, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
In March, the 338 cities of prefecture level or larger in the country saw more days with heavy pollution. The average concentration of PM2.5 in those cities increased by 2.1 percent year-on-year to 48 micrograms per cubic meter, though the concentration over the past three months decreased by 9.7 percent, the ministry said.
The report, however, is optimistic about the result of China's efforts at air pollution control. With the advantage of China's governance model, the time the country needs to reach air quality standards will be much shorter than the time taken by many Western countries, the report said.
China will play a major role in promoting the development of air pollution control technologies worldwide, said Xie Hongxing, director of the Bluetech Clean Air Alliance.
"The huge clean air technology market in China will attract global clean-tech companies. Many of the clean energy and pollution prevention technologies that develop in China could also expand to support clean air initiatives in other countries, and promote global clean development," he said.
While China has made substantial progress in monitoring major air polluting sources, the country also has great potential in developing monitoring facilities targeting small and scattered polluting sources such as restaurants, said Liu Baoxian, deputy head of Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center.