In Ulaanbaatar, our actions to fight against air pollution are extended until 2026
Ulaanbaatar is the most polluted city in winter. Since 2018, Geres and its partners with the support of the EU-funded Switch Asia program have been working to reduce the city’s air pollution by tackling housing insulation and promoting the reduction of coal consumption for heating. Four years later, the results are very conclusive. Now it’s time for 2026 to extend the actions to other provinces.
Here is an overview and outlook.
Context. The 8-month long heating season, temperatures hitting for several months -20 to -40°C and the absence of central heating systems for more than half of the urban population force them to rely on cheap and low-quality coal for satisfying household heating and cooking needs. On the other hand, in recent years the population has also started to exploit a coal that generates less smoke but a lot of pollution.
Building on Geres’ 20 years of experience in Asia’s cold climate, the project « Switch off Air pollution » was implemented between 2018 and 2022 in the mongolian capital.
For the summary, “Switch off air pollution” project is a coordinated initiative led by Geres with People in Need, the Mongolian National Construction Association and Building Energy Efficiency Centre for the national university, in close collaboration with bank suppliers, aiming at equipping communities and private sector with the tools to curve air pollution in Mongolia.
To begin the project, Geres produced a baseline study in 2018. The aim : collect and assess the thermal performance of the exterior envelopes, heating system and indoor air quality asessment of 178 houses in ger area. According to the study, 60% of the population felt cold only 31% felt normal and 9% warm during winter. Furthermore, 45% of the population said that they had no insulation et 55%, partial insulation.
To top it all off, the residents told us that they insulated their homes themselves.
From these observations, Geres team has set up : 1 rst a set of insulation solutions (roof, wall, foundations, windows, ..), with parteneship with suppliers and training of MSMEs to implemented in market based approach.
Even though the insulation solution are affordable, still some people cannot afford it , and/or don’t know about advantages of insulation that why the project design and implement simple solutions campaign in the area. Indeed, a « Simple Solutions », easy and affordable “Do It Yourself” insulation solutions, campaign was launched, reaching people through community engagement to create awareness of the importance of insulation and provide basic knowledge of proper insulation techniques.
In four years, Geres team has implemented simple solutions to 1429 households and 274 of them was awarded by a 5cm roof insulations by spread the simple solutions to their neighbours.
These 5cm of roof insulation allow households to have up to 10% energy gain.
- 3556 tons of GHG emissions were avoided
- 1 546 households were insulated
- 2411 tons of fuel consumption were avoided
- 20 solutions were developed
- 73 MSMEs (micro small medium enterprises) were trained
A new phase of the project planned until 2026 in several Mongolian cities
Following the good results and the need to expand the project, a new phase is underway. But this time in the ger district one pilot in other province capital city.
The aim is to act on building the momentum for Sustainable Consumption and Production in the housing sector in Mongolia, scale-up inclusive, contextualized, affordable and financially viable Energy Efficiency (EE) solutions to decrease intensity, cost, GHG emissions of energy, and maximize health, economic and social benefits with an ultimate goal to promote just & sustainable development practices.
Our target: households, local authorities, construction material suppliers, financial institutions and international development agencies
And in detail it goes like this:
- 5900 households directly reached,
- 1000 households receive Green loan,
- 160 capacity building staff,
- 11 bank/BFI/saving groups collaborated,
- 5 developement of new products,
- 1 expand the activity into one other province
- 2 million people reached through the marketing and PR activities.
The project is supported by the SWITCH Asia grant programme of the European Union.
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