China’s top environmental research institution has created a new platform for close cooperation with an Australian university to explore efficient methods for curbing air pollution.
The Australia-China Center for Air Quality Science and Management was launched on Nov 5, marking the official start of the two countries’ work by top institutions to improve air quality. It represents a new frontier in scientific cooperation, said Zhang Lei, deputy director of Ministry of Environmental Protection’s international cooperation bureau.
“Air pollution is a global issue that requires joint cooperation,” Zhang said.
According to the World Health Organization, ambient air pollution in urban and rural areas worldwide was the cause of 3.7 million premature deaths in 2012, with 88 percent of them occurring in low-and middle-income countries.
“In China, we face double pressure to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions－from the domestic public and from the international community,” said Chai Fahe, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, one of the top domestic institutions that studies air pollution and its control.
The new international research center will integrate the resources from Chai’s academy and Queensland University of Technology of Australia, as well as a number of other Chinese universities and institutes. It is expected to provide technological and innovative solutions to problems of air pollution at all scales, according to Chai, who is also one of the leading members of the center.
“We will pursue solutions to reduce the economic costs as much as we can and also guarantee good air quality for residents,” he said.
The center is expected to help the governments base their decisions on good science, said Zhang, the environmental ministry official, adding that the Chinese government totally supports the collaboration to improve air quality.
China encourages international collaboration to control air pollution, including carbon dioxide emissions, said Hao Jiming, an academician at the China Academy of Engineering and a professor at Tsinghua University.