The evaluation of China’s air pollution and the effectiveness of its governance policies is currently a topic of general concern in the academic community. We have improved the traditional evaluation method to construct a comprehensive air quality assessment model based on China’s major air pollutants. Using the daily air pollutant data of 2015–2018, we calculated and analyzed the monthly air quality of nine cities in the Pearl River Delta of China, and conducted a comparative study on the effect of the air pollution control policies of the cities in the Pearl River Delta. We found that the air quality control policies in those nine cities were not consistent. Specifically, the pollution control policies of Guangzhou and Foshan have achieved more than 20% improvement. The pollution control policies of Dongguan and Zhaoqing have also achieved more than 10% improvement. However, due to the relative lag of the formulation and implementation of air pollution control policies, the air quality of Jiangmen, Zhuhai and Zhongshan has declined. Based on the analysis of the air quality assessment results and the effects of governance policies in each city during the study period, we propose suggestions for further improvement of the effectiveness of air pollution control policies in the region.
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