As US and China Forge Carbon Emissions Reduction Agreement, Enforcement Is the Next Step

Expert Pitch

Max Zhang, Cornell engineering professor, studies the effects of airborne particulate matters and gaseous pollutants on air quality and climate change. One particular area he is working on is environmental nanoparticles. Nanoparticle pollution affects public health by depositing deeper in our lungs and moving into the blood circulation. Zhang believes this agreement’s effectiveness lies in verification and enforcement.

Zhang says:“This is almost a classical example of the co-benefit of mitigating climate change and air pollution. President Xi specifically mentioned that the first thing he does in the morning every day is to check air quality.

There are not many options for China to achieve significant air quality improvement while maintaining a vibrant manufacturing sector. The more economic option is to transition into a cleaner and low-carbon energy system. For both countries, a main challenges lying ahead is how to enforce and verify the emission reduction targets.”