Why are we so critical of China’s efforts to go green?



  1. 0 Votes

    China is a mixed bag of environmental policies. In some ways they are leaps and bounds ahead of other countries and in other ways their handling of environmental policy has been abominable. They have more wind power than anyone and some of the lowest per capita carbon emissions of comparable sized economies, and yet they are the largest polluters of greenhouse gases in the world.

    What’s important to note is that the main goal of the Chinese government at this point in time is to attain middle class standard of living for all people, roughly 800 million of whom live in abject poverty. While US GDP growth has been steady at around 2.5-3%, Chinese GDP growth has been between 5-10% year on year. It’s astounding growth and the environment is suffering from toxic waters, toxic skies, desertification, drought, and you name it as a result. China has 8 of 10 of the world’s most polluted metropolitan areas.

    We are critical because they have so far refused any carbon cap treaties and we know that any policy that will slow growth, no matter how justified, will be rejected.

  2. 0 Votes

    The other answer covered things pretty thoroughly, but I feel that a little bit needs to be clarified.

    China’s growth really isn’t all that outstanding, especially when the size of its population is considered. It’s the standard for industrializing nations- the US, most of Europe, and Japan all did it too. China’s refusal of environmental policies is related to this fact- their justification is that as the other industrialized countries were allowed to pollute as much as they wanted to grow, China is entitled to the same “right.” The end result is that industrialized nations may eventually end up being forced to give funding along the lines of “climate change reparations” in order to convince China, India, and other similar countries to adhere to global environmental policies.

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