• http://www.wilsoncenter.org/cef Jennifer Turner
    I actually met with some officials from Chengdu two weeks ago and while it is true that the air is getting worse, I learned that the municipal government has built the monitoring and political infrastructure to deal with water pollution. Chengdu (at least the central part of the city) has highest rate of municipal wastewater treatment in China (90%)!! National rate is around 50%. Water pollution is a major health threat in China that doesn’t get as much international attention as it should.

    Ultimately the driver of pollution problems in China is one of weak governance, with local governments being powerful and able to ignore pollution control laws.

    However, the Chinese government has woken up to the threats pollution poses for the country’s health, economy, and stability and they have made some impressive efforts to create policies and empower citizens to circumvent powerful local governments. Most significant has been the governments efforts to deal with pollution from the energy sector by creating enabling policies and investments to promote cleaner energy technologies. Greentechmedia.com listed the Communist party as the #1 green tech company in the world! (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/top-ten-green-giants/)

    Last note (can you tell I do China environment 24-7?) There is notably a flood of international clean tech companies going to China to work on projects aimed at decarbonizing China’s energy sector. If China makes progress on this front this would help address some of the scary health trends Skip talks about.

    Jennifer Turner director China Environment Forum, Woodrow Wilson Center
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