Impacts of China`s Economic Growth on Environmental and Social Issues
A chronological analysis of China's growth and its impacts on environmental and social issues
Research Paper (postgraduate) 2009 6 Pages
When considering the historical background of China`s economic growth, trade-off between environmental protection and sustaining economic growth. Both the opening of free ports during 1978 industrialization process and the impact of 1997 Asian crisis, encouraged the heavy industry and urbanization. “Grow first, clean up later” approach have brought China into a vicious circle: Growth vs. Environmental Damage.
To be able measure the value of environmental loss exactly is almost impossible. The positive impacts of growth should be isolated to calculate the actual loss.
2. Status Quo
China increased its energy consumption at a huge amount by 70% from the year of 2000 to 2005, and became the 2nd biggest energy consumer in the world1. Coal consumption, which provides 68% of China`s energy2, almost doubled from the year of 2002 to 2009 (See Figure 1).
Figure 1: Chinese coal consumption compared with the rest of the world
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: The Oil Drum: Europe, 2009
China produces as much coal as it consumes (See Figure 2). The country is not dependent on the imports; nevertheless, it should look for new solutions based on different energy sources so as to decrease the deteriorating effects of the air pollution.
1, 2, 3 World Bank, 2008