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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

China's Environment

Great article from the Economist.

Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air - And don't expect the government's environmental watchdog to do much about itJan 24th 2008

Key Points:
  1. Environmental agency in China is underfunded and it's competitors for agriculture and industry are much more powerful. So wonderful sounding regulations are enacted (sounds great!), but actual implementation is poor.
  2. Deputy director is Pan Yue, an outspoken green campaigner who is a son-in-law of a famous former general, Liu Huaqing. Shows importance of political/family connections in China. In this case it's a good thing.
  3. Local environmental agencies are usually focusing on the same goals of local governments (grow the economy at any cost).
  4. Environmental damage in 2004 may have lowered GDP by 3.05%.
  5. Picture above of Tiananmen Square shows extent of pollution. For the 2008 Olympics to show China at it's best, factories are to be closed in Beijing.

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