Can Industrial Restructuring Improve Urban Air Quality?—A Quasi-Experiment in Beijing during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The conflict between economic growth and environmental pollution has become a considerable bottleneck to future development throughout the world. The industrial structure may become the possible key factor in resolving the contradiction. Using the daily data of air quality from January to April in 2019 and 2020, we used the DID model to identify the effects of industrial structure on air quality by taking the COVID-19 pandemic as a quasi-experiment. The results show that, first, the impact of
... ofit of the secondary industry on air quality is ten times higher than that of the tertiary industry. Therefore, the secondary industry is the main factor causing air pollution. Second, the effect of the reduction in the secondary industry on the improvement of air quality is better than that of the tertiary industry in Beijing. Therefore, the implementation of Beijing's non-capital function relief policy is timely and reasonable, and the adjustment of the industrial structure is effective in the improvement of air quality. Third, PM2.5, NO2, and CO are affected by the secondary and tertiary industries, where PM2.5 is affected most seriously by the second industry. Therefore, the transformation from the secondary industry to the tertiary industry can not only solve the problem of unemployment but also relieve the haze. Fourth, the result of O3 is in opposition to other pollutants. The probable reason is that the decrease of PM2.5 would lead to an increase in the O3 concentration. Therefore, it is difficult to reduce O3 concentrationby production limitation and it is urgent to formulate scientific methods to deal with O3 pollution. Fifth, the air quality in the surrounding areas can also influence Beijing. As Hebei is a key area to undertake Beijing's industry, the deterioration of its air quality would also bring pressure to Beijing's atmospheric environment. Therefore, in the process of industrial adjustment, the selection of appropriate regions for undertaking industries is very essential, which is worth our further discussion.