China Pollution

China faces uphill battle to turn its growth Green

Lindsay Beck
May 15, 2001

Beijing: There are days in Beijing the smog is so thick residents can stare straight at the sun. Residents of the 2008 Olympic Games host city watch the air quality index like they do the weather forecast. Some Chinese cities may dazzle with gleaming skyscrapers and some rural backwaters have been transformed into industrial hubs, but more than two decades of 9.5 percent annual growth have come at a cost. Now the country is trying to calculate exactly what price it is paying for choking smog, poisoned rivers and toxic waste, floating the concept of a “Green GDP” index likely to be debated at the annual parliament session that convenes on March 5. “Green GDP deducts ecological and environmental losses. It is able to more fully test and measure the quality of economic development and avoid false achievements,” Pan Yue, deputy chief of China’s environment body and its most outspoken green crusader, said in an interview with local media. (Excerpt)

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