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Managing air quality in a rapidly developing nation: China

Authors Fang, Ming HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Chan, Chak Keung View this author's profile
Yao, Xiaohong HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Issue Date 2009
Source Atmospheric environment , v. 43, (1), 2009, JAN, p. 79-86
Summary As the world gets ready to begin the second decade of the twenty-first century, global climate change has been recognized as a real threat to civilization as we know it. The rapid and successful economic growth of developing nations, Particularly China and India, is contributing to climate change. The route to initial economic Success in China followed that of the developed nations through the development of industries. Unfortunately, China's environmental protection efforts have not been the same as in developed countries because China is vastly different Culturally, socially, economically and, especially, politically from developed nations. When China started to deal with environmental concerns in the late 1970s, it took advantage of the experiences of other countries in establishing environmental standards and regulations, but it did not have a model to follow when it came to implementing these standards and regulations because of the abovementioned differences. Economically, China is transitioning from an agricultural base into an industrial base: however, even now, 60\% of the population remains farmers. China has been and still is heavily dependent upon coal for energy, resulting in serious atmospheric particulate pollution. While growing efforts have been expended on the environment, at this juncture of its economic development, China would be well served to revisit the traditional "develop first and clean up later" approach and to find a balance between development and protecting the environment. Against this backdrop, a reflective look of the effort to manage air quality from 1949-2008 (with an emphasis on the past 30 years) in China is presented in this paper. The environmental component of the 2008 Olympic Games is examined as a special example to illustrate the Current measures being used to improve air quality in China. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All Fights reserved.
ISSN 1352-2310
Rights Atmospheric Environment © copyright (2008) Elsevier. The Journal's web site is located at
Language English
Format Article
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