Societal benefits of halving agricultural ammonia emissions in China far exceed the abatement cost

This study conducts the first comprehensive assessment of national NH3 mitigation based on multiple models. Our study reveals there are considerable societal benefits (US$ 32-75 billion) for China to reduce agricultural NH3 emissions compared to its implementation costs (US$ 6-11 billion). The technical mitigation potential of agricultural NH3 emissions in China is 53% (38-67%), around two times higher than Europe27 (~24%). Saving unnecessary N fertilizer use and protein-rich feed could provide 30% of mitigation potential without abatement cost. Apart from technical mitigation options, reducing the consumption of animal products could offer further NH3 mitigation potential by 2050.

Growing evidence suggests that further improvement of air quality and public health in China needs the involvement of NH3 mitigation. However, China has not yet formulated and introduced policies to reduce NH3 emissions and there is no available systematic assessment of NH3 mitigation potential, costs and benefits.