The Mongolian government, determined to seize the opportunities of a less-polluting and more-sustainable future, is now working to implement the Law on Reducing Air Pollution in the Capital City, approved in 2011 by the parliament. This law was initiated and submitted by President Tsakhia Elbegdorj to address the long-standing air pollution problem which is triggered by over population and coal usage in Mongolia’s capital and largest city, Ulaanbaatar.
Air pollution comes from various sources such as dust from the desert, unpaved roads and open soil surfaces, lack of vegetation, ash and emissions from power plants, boilers, and vehicles. The coal and wood burning generated by 175,000 households in ger areas for cooking and heating significantly contributes to the severity of air pollution, especially during the winter.
|In Mongolia, the “ger areas” are the areas where former herders who lost their domestic animals to harsh winters or who are looking for better job opportunities in the city set their gers (or “nomadic tents”). The gers are usually installed on the close-in city outskirts, without piped water, sanitation or basic city infrastructure.|
The law will encourage migration to satellite-cities near the capital for purposes of limiting coal-burning in the center Ulaanbaatar, transferring energy-saving technology, and imposing air-pollution taxes in some regions of the capital.