Impacts of environment issues to China

Topics: Economic growth, Air pollution, Economics Pages: 8 (1654 words) Published: November 16, 2014

Impacts of environment issues to China

Further to our presentation of title “Environmental issues and its impacts to China”, I am elaborating the key impacts of the environmental issues in details here. Due to the economic reforms carry out in China in past 30 years, with the opening of market to overseas and introduction of the foreign investments to China. China has maintained a high speed growth, with the average GDP growth rate at 10%. China now is already the second largest economy with GDP of US$9,181.38 billion in 2013, it surpassed Japan in 2010 according to International Monetary Fund1. China has maintained at a fast and steady economic grow in the past decades, together with the growth, demand from different necessities increase gradually, people are having higher living requirement and looking for more mobility in cities, so urbanization and energy consumption problems have been brought to attention. Air pollution is definitely the top problem caused by the economic development in China. Water disaster and desertification are also the side effect of the rapid growth. This is one of the challenges that Chinese Government needs to handle in order to maintain a sustainable growth in economic growth, it is no way to sacrifice environment and only focus on economy, end up, China will suffer from the lack of measures for tackling the environmental problems. Some of the major impacts of environmental issues including 1) Health problem; 2) Social instability; and 3) Natural habitat problem. Impact - Health problem

It is not surprise that China is now the biggest consumer and producer of energy in the world. Coal supplied accounted for majority (69%) of China’s total energy consumption in 20112. Chinese production and consumption of coal has increased for the 13th consecutive year in 2012. China’s consumption and production represent almost half of the rest of the world combined3. Due to the high coal consumption, China is also the world’s leading energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter, releasing 8,715 million metric tons of CO2 in 2011. Burning of coal will produce oxides of sulphur, nitrogen, greenhouse gases (mainly CO2 and methane). According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the burning of coal is responsible for 70% of the emissions of soot that clouds out the sun in so much of China; 85% of sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain and smog; and 67% of nitrogen oxide, a key element to harmful ground level ozone. Coal ash, which contains radioactive material and heavy metals, including chromium, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, is China’s number one source of solid industrial waste. Air-polluted particulates are four times higher when compared with other developed cities. Air-pollution not only a major leads to cancer, but also heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disease, which together account for around 60% of deaths countrywide in 20124. It may be in argument that smoking is the top root cause of lung cancer in the world, I have no objection in this. But the air-polluted particulates contain toxic elements that are different from those in cigarette, both can lead to lung cancer eventually. Impact of air-pollution not only on health, but also disturb the regular social activities among people. The change of hazardous air quality is very expensive to change and take time, Premier Li Keqiang also mentioned in the second session of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that the smog now frequently plagues China’s cities is, “nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development”. And China may end up need to sacrifice the economy growth in order to maintain a balance growth between environment and economy.

Impact - Social instability
(i) New wave of emigration in China:
Over the past three decades, China’s economic reforms have created a significant number of millionaires and billionaires. But...
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