Clearing the Smog on Environmental Policy

Pollution is a hot topic in China these, with street protests and strong editorials – not to mention the smoggy skies – all ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the popular agenda. But it’s not just a social issue: cleaning up the environment takes money, and lots of it. An article by Anthony Liu, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at CKGSB, who specializes in environmental economics, was published in a recent issue of Bloomberg Brief. In his piece, Prof Liu argues that despite the serious air pollution in Beijing, the Chinese government has a clear anti-pollution strategy and is taking action to make reforms in the coming months.

He reviewed the established goals of the Third Plenum by policymakers, namely:

  • Including environmental protection as a central part of an official’s performance, rather than simply focusing on economic growth
  • Clarifying the responsibilities of land cleanup
  • Monitoring natural resources exploitation and possible disasters
  • Reforming the natural resources price system, and developing market-based solutions.

From the article:

“Much remains to be done. Work on pervasive water pollution, addressing water scarcity through a smarter pricing system, and accelerating the shift away from coal, should all be priorities. That should not distract from what has already been achieved. China’s leadership has made environmental quality a consistent high priority in its plans. Barring a significant economic setback, expect a continued drumbeat of small reforms and improvements in the coming months.”

To read the original Bloomberg Brief article in full, please click here.

Related articles by Prof Liu: Air Pollution in China: What’s at Stake?

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