Sunday, 19 November 2006

China and the Environment

On my recent trip tot China I was fortunate enough to meet with a number of Chinese companies and visit Beijing and Hong Kong.

The pollution in Beijing is truly terrible (see here), the smog hangs over the city almost permanently. On a very rare day you may be able to glimpse the blue sky overhead. Hong Kong is a little better, but not much. The Smog rolls in from all the factories in Gaungdong province.

Interestingly though, this is of concern to the people who live and work there. Companies too would like to reduce their emissions and clean up the environment; but they also like the economic growth that swift development has given them.

The best solution that I can see is for the West to sell to China the best technology that we have for reducing emissions. We can't ask China to stop its growth in the iron age with countless millions still poor.

A new Kyoto, based on its old measures will not be ratified. A new approach is needed.

By the by, for the Olympics the Chinese Government are set to close all factories for a month in Beijing Province and ban all private cars. This should do much to reduce the pollution for the games. How Tony Blair must wish he had such powers in this country!

5 comments:

Shotgun said...

I would have to agree with you that we can't ask China to stop its growth with so many millions of people living in real poverty.

That doesn't give this Government an excuse to tax us into the stoneage though ô¿ô

Ellee said...

Shotgu, The reason many people in poverty in China is because they give up their farming jobs to become rich in the city and send the money home, only their unscrupulous bosses don't pay them. It's happened a few times now and there was a big murder case when the boss was murdered for not paying his starving staff .
There is no reason why China cannot adopt environmental policies and give their staff reasonable working conditions too.
A very interesting report, you must have found it fascinating, I'm so envious, I hope you write some more about China and I would love to see some pics too, can you post some on flickr.

istanbultory said...

In the transition to the market economy ,e conomic growth has increased incomes and improved health indicators, as well as reduced overall poverty levels. But the environment has paid a heavy price. Ellee, I am afraid developing countries have precious little interest in environmental protection while prosperity beckons for a well-connected few. same goes for labour rights.Turkey is another case in point.

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