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The Current Issues Facing China S Environmental Problems

By gradylam Mar 07, 2015 1207 Words
The current issues facing China’s environmental problems:  

1) China is on a growth path where energy consumption will grow rapidly.  Securing energy source is an utmost important task.  Currently, world consumption of coal is on the raise in absolute terms due to it’s low cost and availability.  China will likely grow it’s consumption of coal (from xx to what yy level) between 201x to 20xx.  CO2 emission from power plants will increase from xx billion tons to xx billion tons.  This will put China in a course to emit the remaining quota of CO2 before causing an irreversible climate disaster as global temperature rise by another 2 degree Celsius. Aside from the impact on the global climate, air pollution (PM 2.5) also affect the health of people in China, causing hundreds of thousands premature death each year. Pollution also makes the country very unattractive to the international and local talent that China desperately need to grow its economy. Therefore, social cost and financial cost of pollution is enormous.  Chinese government will invest US$277 billion in the next five years to combat pollution and clean up China’s air. It is important that CCS and other technologies that help remove CO2 and other air pollutants be implemented swiftly. Graph 1 shows the sources of PM2.5 by source. Measures and actions on both the industrial and consumer sides are needed.  

Source: Dangerous Breathing – PM2.5: Measuring the human health and economic impacts on China’s largest cities, Greenpeace

a. Monitoring – Without monitoring, the effort against pollution will not be effective. We have to know the disease before we can deliver the most effective medicine with the least side effects. Therefore, implementation of the monitoring system is crucial. The government should both organize related government body to implement a nationwide system, as well as encourage INGO to participate in providing control and complementary efforts. This will speed up the implementation of the monitoring system and provide a set of control data where government data are insufficient or may appear to contain error. Transparent local information, including source of pollution from different industries, will help policy maker and regulating bodies to in better directing their monitoring and regulating resources with the public’s help. Public support can also be what the regulating body needs to help raise support and attention from within the government.  Transparent information will also encourage industries and corporation to implement CCS technology to stay consumer friendly.  State-owned companies with significant CO2 or other pollutant emission should disclose their financial information together with cost of implementing CCS or pollution filtering solution. Transparent information will also allow the public in becoming an active participant in fighting the pollution, helping government body in making decision on difficult issues that affect the livelihood and health of the public. b. Pollution Regulation Policies – Part of the medicine to fight pollution is the government regulation, specifying the allowable amount of emission, and the consequence of failing to limit emission to the allowable amount. The government must create enough negative incentive for the industries and corporation not to want to risk being punished under the regulation, both because of the punitive fine and the public image of the company under fine. Companies and industries need to view their investment in pollution reducing equipment and facility as certain as part of their operating cost as the sales tax or operating tax is. c. Pollution Regulation Enforcement – when only the enforcer or the law breaker are punished, it creates a perverse incentive for either side to put blame on the other but allow corruption to take place. Most of the time, special leniency would be given to companies based on the enforcer’s personal judgment, rendering the policies useless. Therefore, a national level body that does regular sampling of pollution emission on company level should be established. Environmental pollution cases should get the same attention as the corruption cases because it is an economic problem with insufficient monitoring oversight and supervision. d. Commercialize pollution fighting

e. Consumer side of the pollution reducing technology should be worked on as well.  If all consumer can share into the cost and participate in the network to diminish pollutants, that would be huge complement to the industrial level of filtering pollution.  

2) Industrial growth is an important part to China’s employment stability and improvement on per capita consumption.  Industrial production contribute to xx% of GDP and yy% of GDP growth.  Industrial slow down or stagnation could be cause social tension to the political system.  Unfortunately, the growth of industrial production comes at a very high cost to the environment because of the insufficient government supervision.  provincial and local competition on GDP growth are largely to blame, motivating government officials to spend their environmental capital with any regard to the environmental costs.  A vision of what a future city should look like and how the government official can work towards that goal is needed.  A evaluation system tied to official career advancement is also needed.  Until then, environmental issue and industrial accidents will continue to be a common occurrent.  A road map to develop a clean efficient "labor power” need to be outlined.  A broader base of employment cannot be realized until the mass of the labor power can become cleaner and more efficient, lowering the negative environmental cost that growth brings.  

3) Consumer awareness of the real cost of the product they are consuming need to be estimated and communicated as part of demand pull environmental effort.  It is not how much they consume but how well they consume.  Ten dollars worth of meat in China may be more in quantity but when other factors such as cleanliness, contamination with chemicals, reliability, etc are taken into consideration, ten dollars worth of meat in China is less of quality per dollar than those in more advanced countries.  Overshooting in the form of way over paying for what is presented to be quality goods becomes common occurrence.  That is an manifestation of the environmental cost in terms of consumer cost and psychological cost.  These are the dead weight of the economy.  Releasing these dead weight could allow the economy to grow on the current basis in real terms, without additional creation per se.  When demand becomes more high quality, production has to become more high quality.  High profit will also be channeled toward true high quality products, reducing the reliance on political and black box operation of the market.  

Office fluorescent light - The guy from 中国杰出企业家协会 (install and benefit sharing model)

1. maintain focus on the general issues that the Chinese society is facing 2. solving the social issue is the key.  business opportunity is the mean to solving the end that is the social issue. 1. What is the things that the laid off workers can do?

2. Capital investment through small capital companies
3. de-NOx retrofits could be a possible in-road
4. Consumer product related environmental technology
5. Investment fund with environment tech as investment theme 6. Artificial Tree idea?

Is there any consumer product that can be sold to developers that individually cleans the air quality of the building and aggregately helps reduce CO2 in the atmosphere?

What are the measures that Hong Kong factories use to reduce CO2 emission?

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