Environmental Kuznet Curve

Topics: Environment, Environmentalism, Development Pages: 3 (806 words) Published: November 28, 2010
Name: Dai Wei ID Number: 088916

Environmental Kuznet Curve
Environment Kuznet Curve is the application of Kuznet Curve which describes the relationship between the degree of income inequality and the stage of development. However, EKC depicts the variation of environmental degradation with the increasing incomes. The illustration in relation to the relationship resembles a reverse “U” shape as shown in figure 1.1. That means the harm to environment brought from economic development of society is inevitable. As the I = PAT model indicates, more income means more production of goods and hence more use of resources and energy and more waste disposal. That is why environment is getting worse as average income is increasing. But EKC theory emphasizes that environmental degradation will reach a peak, which opposes common sense. Next, there is a turning point which leads environmental Kuznet curve to drop steeply. In this theory, economic growth cleans up the original damage to environment. That is, economy body then will head to environment-friendly direction. [pic]

We can realize that developed countries have cleaner street, air, water while developing or the third countries have worse environment. Economic growth firstly stimulates environmental degradation, and then restrains it. The reason could be discussed in four aspects. 1) Advance economies exporting their pollution to less developed countries In our impression, less developed countries are poor, dirty, and have terrible environment. In fact, they are uneasy to be influenced by economic factor. Many of them collect the waste matter for import as trade. America is one paradigm to trade waste matter. In January, The amount of waster matter export is almost 1.32 million ton in America. This avoids wealthy countries’ environment going worse while the environment of less developed countries keeps deteriorating. 2) Higher life standard leading to more extra payment for environmental...

References: 1. Lecture 03 synopsis and reading list.
2. World Bank, 1992, World Development Report 1992, page 10.
3. The Environmental Kuznet Curve (EKC). http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~econ480/notes/20.doc. Accessed 8/1/2007.
4. Kuznets curve. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuznets_curve. Accessed 31/10/2008.
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