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Environmental poverty, a decomposed environmental Kuznets curve, and alternatives: Sustainability lessons from China

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  • Liu, Lee
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    Abstract

    Amid increasing recognition of the importance of the environmental factor in understanding poverty and development, this article coins the term “environmental poverty” to refer to the lack of the healthy environment needed for society's survival and development as a direct result of human-induced environmental degradation. A decomposed environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) demonstrates that places (such as countries, counties, or cities) following the “grow first, clean up later” approach (or the first half of the EKC) may obtain economic gains accompanied by extreme environmental sacrifice, excessive social injustice, and income and environmental inequalities. The same place may include communities whose curves differ in shape. Some communities may prosper at the expense of other communities, which may fall into environmental poverty and eventually irreversible environmental degradation and economic failure. Places following alternatives or “flat EKCs” may be slow in getting out of economic poverty, but enjoy a healthier environment, equality in income and environmental quality, and social justice. Countries, especially developing countries, should aspire to sustainable alternatives.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092180091100454X
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 86-92

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:73:y:2012:i:c:p:86-92

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Poverty; Environmentalism of the poor; Environmental Kuznets curve; Sustainability; Environmental justice; Development policy; Environmental health; China;

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    Cited by:
    1. Farhani, Sahbi & Mrizak, Sana & Chaibi, Anissa & Rault, Christophe, 2014. "The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainability: A panel data analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 189-198.
    2. Parlow, Anton, 2014. "Environmental Pressure and Armed Conflict - Is there an empirical Kuznets Curve for Myanmar?," MPRA Paper 55828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Abanda, F.H. & Ng’ombe, A. & Keivani, R. & Tah, J.H.M., 2012. "The link between renewable energy production and gross domestic product in Africa: A comparative study between 1980 and 2008," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 2147-2153.

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