Polluting China for the Sake of Economic Growth

According to economist Yanqing Xia, China will continue to disregard sustainability to maintain economic growth. In order for China to make economic growth it must rapidly consume energy.  However, “this rapid increase in energy consumption and the rise in pollution and carbon emissions reflects rapid economic growth but is adding to environmental harm on a global scale and having a tremendous impact on ecological systems.” In effect, it appears to Xia that Chinese industry is apathetic to environmental issues and is extremely reliant on pollution/energy consumption for economic growth. Xia insists that environmental protection and economic growth must “now be bound together” by “implement[ing] effective environmental regulations so that firms and consumers can be properly encouraged to reduce pollution and energy consumption.” Even if it means that China must ignore some economic opportunities, China should regulate industrial growth so as not to cause harm by “environmental payback.” 

Steven Angueira
AP Environmental Science
Topic#9: Capitalistic Systems/environmental worldviews


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