Clearing the Smog on Environmental Policy

November 24, 2014

Earlier this year, the Chinese government declared ‘war’ on pollution, and clearing the skies was also on the agenda at the Third Plenum held earlier this fall. Bloomberg Brief recently featured analysis on the issue by Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at CKGSB, Anthony Liu, who specializes in environmental economics.

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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