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Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends


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


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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