City Interventions

Ulaanbaatar Air Quality Improvement Program

Country: Mongolia
City: Ulaanbaatar

Key Stakeholders and PartnersODA Policy Division Development Financing Department; Ministry of Finance; MInistry of the Environment; Asian Development Bank

Project Preparation Study PeriodJanuary 2018 - August 2018

Expected Downstream Financing$130 million (Asian Development Bank)

Infrastructure sectorsUrban Renewal

CDIA priority impact areasClimate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Environmental Improvement; Good Governance; Poverty Reduction

Key City Development Issues

The population of Ulaanbaatar has nearly doubled since 1995, and the city is now home to about 1.3 million inhabitants. This fast-growing urban population has had a major impact on the demand for urban infrastructure and municipal services and, among other externalities, has exacerbated already severe winter air pollution.

Dangerous concentrations of inhalable particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) pose serious public health risks. Indoor and outdoor pollution contributes to poor health and living standards, leading to high medical costs, lost productivity, chronic illnesses, and lower life expectancy. Estimates suggest that 10% of deaths in Ulaanbaatar in 2013 resulted from complications from air pollution. Children are particularly vulnerable to impacts of air pollution such as reduced fetal growth, preterm birth, pneumonia, and reduced lung function leading to acute and chronic respiratory diseases. Reducing PM2.5 and PM10 emissions from cooking and heating in the ger areas could generate positive externalities or added economic benefit equivalent to between 2 to 4 percent of GDP from a better quality of life and lower risk of death.

Details of Cooperation

Asian Development Bank has proposed a $130 million Policy Based Loan (PBL) to reduce Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the National Program for Reducing Air and Environment Pollution. CDIA is supporting the design and delivery of a number of the policy actions linked to the PBL including: designing credit guarantee products for SMEs engaged in air quality improvement activities; designing a strategy for the procurement and distribution of cleaner fuel targeted at households located in ger areas; and assisting the city in developing financing strategies for greening the construction sector and promoting innovative yet affordable heating technologies.

Expected Development Outcomes

The impact will be effective air pollution control measures including improvement in the air pollution control regulatory framework; implementation of measures to reduce air pollution and increase health protection; and development and approval of environmentally sound and integrated urban and energy plans.


Key City informationUlaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. The city is and independent municipality not part of any province. Ulaanbaatar is situated in the north central part of the country and houses 46% of the country’s population, 60% of which live in ger Areas.

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