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Health & Environment

China risks social conflict if war on pollution lags, researchers warn

A man wearing a respiratory protection mask cycles along a road amid the heavy haze in Beijing

A man wearing a respiratory protection mask cycles along a road amid the heavy haze in Beijing

Any failure to tackle China’s huge pollution problems in the coming years could stoke public discontent and create “social conflicts,” government researchers warned, underlining political concerns driving Beijing’s war on smog.

With pollution identified as a major source of unrest, China’s ruling Communist Party has promised to tackle a host of environmental problems brought about by more than three decades of breakneck economic growth, an environment ministry think tank said on Thursday.

The Institute of Environmental Planning, run by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said China’s economy has now “basically said goodbye” to scarcity and the state was now having to meet rising public demand for a cleaner environment.

“There is a huge gap between how fast the environment is being improved and the how fast the public is demanding it to be improved, and environmental problems could easily become a tipping point that leads to social risks,” the institute said in a report published by the official China Environmental News.

China is trying to slash coal burning and has also threatened to close thousands of industrial enterprises if they fail to comply with stricter emissions and energy use standards.

According to official data, only eight of the 74 cities monitored by the Ministry of Environmental Protection last year met state air quality standards, and the government does not expect average pollution levels to make the grade until 2030.

But the institute said China’s war on pollution was likely to become easier as a result of structural changes in the economy, with traditional heavy industrial output now peaking, though there could be unforeseen environmental consequences stemming from the country’s attempts to diversify into new industries.

It forecast total energy consumption would rise to 4.3 billion tonnes of standard coal by the end of this year, up only slightly from 4.26 billion tonnes last year, and would rise to 4.5 billion tonnes by 2020.

The share of coal in overall energy use is also expected to fall nearly two percentage points to 63.3 percent at the end of this year and to about 56 percent by 2020, it said.

Source: Reuters – China risks social conflict if war on pollution lags – govt researchers


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I am Genevieve Cheung, originally from Hong Kong. After completing secondary studies, I moved to Australia where I completed a degree in Bachelor of Business Management at the VUT in Melbourne. After graduation I moved to Italy where I have been living for more than twenty years. My vast cultural background and extensive linguistic knowledge (speak and write fluent English, Mandarin/Cantonese Chinese and Italian), allow me to join our company- SKY IN COMPANY (HK/ITALY). We provide main services such as web-site translations from Italian/ English to Chinese/English, and SEO services for the Chinese search engine "Baidu". Our offices, based in Hong Kong and Italy, have a young and dynamic team with collaborators around the world. Sono Genevieve Cheung, originaria di Hong Kong; dopo aver completato gli studi secondari, mi sono trasferita in Australia, dove ho conseguito una Laurea in Bachelor of Business Management presso la VUT di Melbourne. Dopo la Laurea mi sono trasferita in Italia, dove vivo ormai da più di venti anni. Il mio background culturale e la vasta conoscenza linguistica (parlo e scrivo correntemente l’inglese, il cinese mandarino e l’italiano), mi consentono di partecipare in quest’attività di traduzione in Italiano/English/Cinese. La principale attività della nostra ditta – SKY IN COMPANY (HK), consiste nella traduzione in lingua cinese di siti web italiani, nonché di servizi di tipo SEO rivolti al motore di ricerca cinese “Baidu”. La nostra ditta principale, con base in Hong Kong, dispone di un team giovane e dinamico con collaboratori in tutto il mondo. WWW.SKYINCOMPANY.COM skyinhk74@yahoo.com.hk HONG KONG OFFICE: Flat b 15/F, Block 7 Yee Mei Court, South Horizon, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong Island Hong Kong Tel: ++852 92235260 ITALY OFFICE: Via Metastasio 27 Firenze 50124 Italy Tel: ++39-347 1429011


6 thoughts on “China risks social conflict if war on pollution lags, researchers warn

  1. Reblogged this on gingerblokeblog.


    Posted by gingerblokeblog | April 14, 2015, 6:04 pm
  2. Why did China foul its own nest so thoroughly when the environmental hazards of unrestricted industrial growth were well known when China’s stampede toward modernization began in 1976? State-controlled media always emphasizes the government’s mighty efforts to correct the present problem, but never on its own role in creating the problem in the first place. Easier to escape blame that way, I suppose.


    Posted by Questioner | April 14, 2015, 8:16 pm


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