China's environmental woes

Reuters reports that China's environmental woes spilt visibly over its borders as a toxic slick flowed into Russia in December, but exports of pollution are becoming as common as sales of cheap T-shirts for the economic powerhouse:

...China should not take all the blame for pollution caused by a high level of manufacturing within its borders since many products are destined for Western markets, say environmentalists who hope consumer pressure could force firms to clean up.

Read China Adds Pollution to List of Exports.

International Herald Tribune also notes:

Environmental damage from pollution is costing China the equivalent of 7.7 percent of gross domestic product annually, according to an estimate in a study on Asia's infrastructure needs published last year by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Other sobering statistics in the report, called "Connecting Asia," include estimates of 6.4 million work years lost annually in China to air pollution, 178,000 premature deaths in major cities every year caused by the use of high-sulfur coal and the fact that 52 urban river stretches have been so contaminated that they are no longer suitable for irrigation. Those numbers do not necessarily incorporate the effects of deforestation, overgrazing, dust clouds, desertification and the strains of the great increase in internal migration and tourism.

Read Getting in Early as China Cleans Up.

I found the ADB report, which is actually called "Connecting East Asia". Read the Executive Summary here.


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