Mongolia: Effective and Economical Air Pollution Abatement Strategies Put Forward by World Bank

March 4, 2010

March 04, 2010, Ulaanbaatar - Improving the air quality of Ulaanbaatar requires a pollution abatement strategy that sets ambitious but realistic emission reduction targets says the World Bank.

The World Bank’s Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar – Initial Assessment of Current Situation and Effects of Abatement Measures report puts forward an objective and analytical framework by which pollution reduction programs can be prioritized and evaluated.

The report highlights key findings of the ongoing Air Monitoring and Health Impact Baseline (AMHIB) study. This study is a joint research project between the World Bank, National University of Mongolia and the Public Health Institute of Mongolia. Several donors contributed to the study including the International Atomic Energy Agency, Korea and the Netherlands.

The study looks at the four key pollution sources: ger area heating, heat only boilers, power plants and dust and their impact on the air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. It also forecasts the subsequent decrease in health problems that would occur alongside a reduction in harmful emissions. 

Currently, Particulate Matter (PM) pollution levels in Ulaanbaatar are far above the recommended international standards. Reducing PM to a healthy, recommended level will not be achieved overnight, but that should not preclude actions now. It is important to know the target, which is outlined in this report – so as to know how much emissions need be reduced by in order to have a visible effect on air pollution..,” said the World Bank’s Clean Air Program manager Gailius Draugelis.

People’s lungs act like air filters. The analysis shows that PM pollution is contributing to hospital emissions for respiratory diseases and hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases,” said Mr. Draugelis.

The report provides information regarding which pollution sources should be targeted within pollution abatement strategies. This is because different sources of air pollution have different impacts on air quality and health.

The results in this report are designed to stimulate discussions relating to pollution abatement measures. The project will be completed in late spring this year.

NB: AMHIB monitored air pollution in ger areas systematically for the first time.

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