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Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends

Author

Listed:
  • Haakon Vennemo
  • Kristin Aunan
  • Henrik Lindhjem
  • Hans Martin Seip

Abstract

The state of China's environment is receiving attention from all over the world. This article reviews the current status and trends of environmental pollution in China. We argue that China is able to contain, and to some extent improve, air and water quality for the urban population at the local level. The situation is uneven when it comes to problems at the regional level. On the one hand, surface water quality in the South is improving and particle emissions are stable. On the other hand, nitrogen oxide emissions are increasing rapidly and sulfur oxide emissions have been on the rise until very recently, despite intense official pressure to bring sulfur emissions down. China's CO 2 emissions have grown rapidly in recent years, causing global concern. However, we argue that future growth in CO 2 emissions is likely to be slower. Overall, China appears to be following a path similar to the one taken by more industrialized countries. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Haakon Vennemo & Kristin Aunan & Henrik Lindhjem & Hans Martin Seip, 2009. "Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 209-230, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:3:y:2009:i:2:p:209-230
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/reep/rep009
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheng, Cheng & Wang, Zhen & Liu, Mingming & Chen, Qiang & Gbatu, Abimelech Paye & Ren, Xiaohang, 2017. "Defer option valuation and optimal investment timing of solar photovoltaic projects under different electricity market systems and support schemes," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 594-610.
    2. Mochizuki, Junko & Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2011. "Environmental Security and its Implications for China’s Foreign Relations," Sustainable Development Papers 102508, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    3. W. Walker Hanlon & Yuan Tian, 2015. "Killer Cities: Past and Present," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 570-575, May.
    4. Liu, Antung Anthony & Zhang, Junjie, 2012. "Fiscal Incentives and Environmental Infrastructure in China," Discussion Papers dp-12-36, Resources For the Future.
    5. Chen, Zhao & Kahn, Matthew E. & Liu, Yu & Wang, Zhi, 2018. "The consequences of spatially differentiated water pollution regulation in China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 468-485.
    6. Mengdi Liu & Bing Zhang & Qiang Geng, 2018. "Corporate pollution control strategies and labor demand: evidence from China’s manufacturing sector," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 298-326, June.
    7. Jin Guo & Yingzhi Xu & Zhengning Pu, 2016. "Urbanization and Its Effects on Industrial Pollutant Emissions: An Empirical Study of a Chinese Case with the Spatial Panel Model," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-15, August.
    8. Undp, 2011. "HDR 2011 - Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All," Human Development Report (1990 to present), Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), number hdr2011, December.
    9. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-772, September.
    10. Wang, Chunhua & Wu, JunJie & Zhang, Bing, 2018. "Environmental regulation, emissions and productivity: Evidence from Chinese COD-emitting manufacturers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 54-73.
    11. Soon-Ae Park & Hyunwoo Tak, 2012. "The environmental effects of the CNG bus program on metropolitan air quality in Korea," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(1), pages 261-287, August.
    12. Zhang, Daisheng & Aunan, Kristin & Martin Seip, Hans & Vennemo, Haakon, 2011. "The energy intensity target in China's 11th Five-Year Plan period--Local implementation and achievements in Shanxi Province," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4115-4124, July.
    13. Matthew E. Kahn & Pei Li & Daxuan Zhao, 2013. "Pollution Control Effort at China's River Borders: When Does Free Riding Cease?," NBER Working Papers 19620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Zhang, Guoxing & Deng, Nana & Mou, Haizhen & Zhang, Zhe George & Chen, Xiaofeng, 2019. "The impact of the policy and behavior of public participation on environmental governance performance: Empirical analysis based on provincial panel data in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1347-1354.
    15. Sam, Abdoul G. & Zhang, Xiaodong, 2020. "Value relevance of the new environmental enforcement regime in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    16. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jie Mao & Chunhua Wang, 2016. "Tax incentives and environmental protection: evidence from China’s taxpayer-level data," China Finance and Economic Review, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.
    18. Klarl, Torben Alexander, 2015. "Urban-rural migration and congestion costs revisited: is there a triple dividend for cities in developing countries?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112829, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Ho, Mun & Wang, Zhongmin, 2014. "Green Growth (for China): A Literature Review," Discussion Papers dp-14-22, Resources For the Future.

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