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International Environmental Concerns in Economics: The Case of China Essay

A multiplicity of environmental problems and challenges now affect our entire world, and the problems are becoming increasingly serious to warrant international concern.

Today, more than ever before, environmental challenges such as acid rain, air pollution, hazardous solid waste, destruction of natural ecosystems, water pollution, and overpopulation, among others, continue to affect societies, particularly in countries with inadequate or inefficient policies and frameworks geared towards environmental management (Thomas-Hope, 1998). This paper purposes to evaluate some of the persistent environmental problems in China and how the country is dealing with the issues.

For decades now, China has been struggling with the problems of habitat and biodiversity loss and air pollution, and analysts are quick to point out that these environmental challenges largely emanate from yet another environmental concern known as overpopulation (WWF, n.d.). China is the most populous nation in the world, with one-fifth of the global population residing in the country.

The country’s population impact is clearly evident not only in China, but across national boarders as the demands of the huge Chinese market pose serious threats to biodiversity and air pollution as far away as Africa. In china, ill-planned hydrological engineering projects and conversion of wetlands for agriculture intended to feed the huge population have caused untold destruction on the country’s habitat and ecosystems, in the process driving species such as the revered pandas out of their natural homes (WWF, n.d.).

Natural forests continue to be cleared for food production, timber and fuel-wood, further aggravating the situation. The high demand for automobiles to serve the high Chinese population in addition to the indiscriminate opening of factories that depend entirely on coal have been noted as some of the major causes of air pollution in the country.

The problem of air pollution can be scientifically validated by evidence that respiratory and heart diseases related to air pollution are the foremost cause of mortality in China (WWF, n.d.). In addition, air pollution costs the Chinese economy in excess of 10 percent of its GDP annually. Of all the species documented by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as fundamentally endangered, just about a quarter are found in China, demonstrating scientific evidence of the implications of habitat and biodiversity loss.

In terms of correctional measures, the Chinese government has been closing down many of the polluting factories and giving incentives to industries that are cleaner (Sasso, 2007). This is aimed at lessening air pollution while laying the focus on economic expansion to meet the ever increasing demand. China is also increasingly relying on nuclear-generated energy to reduce emissions coming from coal-operated industries.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More In habitat and biodiversity loss, the Chinese government is allocating more resources towards the protection of endangered species and in efforts aimed at reconstituting the natural ecosystem through reforestation practices (Gallagher, 2006). China is also imposing stiffer penalties on illegal wildlife hunters and poachers.

It is important to note that stakeholders have been faced with challenges in their attempts to implement these policies and laws aimed at curtailing the discussed environmental problems. Particularly, China has been faced with challenges in its attempts to control air pollution largely due to conflicting goals between its development agenda and environmental conservation (Gallagher, 2006).

The large population demands a sustained expansion of the economy to meet its needs, but this expansion has to a large extent caused air pollution. In addition, some industries continue to utilize loopholes contained in the policies and laws to continue polluting the environment through massive emissions.

It is also costly to build nuclear plants that will fulfill and sustain China’s energy needs, not mentioning that some industries want to generate more revenues by using cheaper sources of energy, such as coal, which ends up polluting the environment. Lastly, the government has been blamed for laxity in implementing policies and laws that will nip the problem of air pollution in the bud before it brings the country down to its knees.

In habitat and diversity loss, challenges have emanated from cross-boarder poaching and ignorant destruction of the natural habitat by the local populations, who seem unenthusiastic to conserve the environment for future generations (Gallagher, 2006). Still, many analysts especially in the tourism industry feel the government is not doing enough to protect the endangered species from further destruction.

There are some recommendations that China could adopt to curtail the environmental problems discussed in this paper. In terms of air pollution, the government should design a policy aimed at making the various industries accountable for their pollution behaviors.

Such a policy would entail imposing an economic cost on factories based on the amount of hazardous emissions released into the environment (Gallagher, 2006). Such a policy will not only work to discourage the industries from releasing emissions into the environment, but will serve as an incentive to embrace newer and safer methods of generating energy.

We will write a custom Essay on International Environmental Concerns in Economics: The Case of China specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More In addition, the money received from the polluting factories could be used to cater for the health needs of people who continue to suffer various ailments as a direct consequence of the air pollution. In terms of habitat and biodiversity loss, education, awareness, and involvement of the locals is needed to curtail further loss. As already mentioned, many locals engage in habitat destruction due to sheer ignorance and lack of adequate knowledge (Gallagher, 2006).

When the information is availed, it will assist them realize the importance of coexisting with other species and discourage further poaching of endangered species. Involving the locals in habitat management and sharing in the accrued benefits will provide them with a platform to protect the resources as a source of economic wellbeing, thus curtail urges for further destruction.

Reference List Gallagher, K.S. (2006). China shifts gear: Automakers, oil, pollution, and development. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sasso, M. (2007). China says its cleaning up products, pollution. Web.

Thomas-Hope, E. (1998). Solid waste management: Critical issues for developing countries. Kingston: Canoe Press.

World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). Environmental problems in China. Web.

Solar growth in USA Report

Nursing Assignment Help Solar energy use has grown over the years to become a major source of electricity and energy in the globe. The growth of solar in the United States has also been significant due to some factors including low equipment costs, considerable government support and global warming.

In the recent years the cost of installing solar power equipment has gone down considerably contributing to an unprecedented growth that now stands at a mean of 36% per year (Truini, 2007). The cost of solar equipment such as photovoltaic solar system has been dropping owing to government subsidies offered to businesses which invest in the sector with the US government offering tax credits.

The US government’s concerns on global warming and climate change are another added incentive for investment in renewable and clean energy such as solar power. Initiatives such as the feed in tariff has seen the cost of solar power go down as electricity companies are urged to buy renewable energy and sell the same energy at cheap fixed rates (Glaser, 2001).

The growth of solar power in the USA is expected to grow from the current installed capacity of 1.44 GW (Gigawatts) to around 40 GW in the year 2020. This will be able to attract investment of over $ 300 Billion and employ 400,000 people to work in the solar energy sector. Growth of solar will be expected to contribute about 8% of USA’s energy by the year 2020; solar energy has seen growth from 785MW in the year 2002 to current capacity of 1.4 GW (Conway, 2002).

Most of the solar growth will be experienced in California where the climate favors the installation of solar powered stations and currently California contributes 53% to the national solar grid. The increase in price for fossils fuels such as oil has contributed to development of innovations in the solar sector to increase in solar uptake and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Global Solar Growth The solar uptake in the globe has witnessed tremendous growth over the last decade; much of the growth has been attributed to increased energy demand. USA still lags behind other countries in solar energy uptake especially countries based in Europe. European countries such as Germany, Italy has seen growth in purchasing photovoltaic solar systems in the recent years with both contributing to around 50% of installed capacity in 2008 (Glaser, 2001).

Germany is currently the biggest solar producer in the world with installed capacity of around 8GW; it is followed by Japan and Spain. However statistics show that the USA is currently the third largest solar producer. Consequently world solar growth is expected to grow at a level of 40% annually with most of the growth emanating from southern Europe.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Countries such as Spain experienced a growth of 2.8GW into its solar energy grid and countries such as Italy, France and India planning to invest considerable amounts of money in solar growth. India plans to achieve 20GW energy generation from solar power by the year 2022, China has also expressed plans to invest in solar energy due to increased energy demands (Conway, 2002).

By 2020 global solar installation will reach levels of about 120GW with most of the demand coming from southern Europe and Asia. Production of photovoltaic systems and innovation will contribute to increased solar installations. Nevertheless the biggest contributing factor will be policies which will make solar energy more cheap and affordable, but with current policies in the USA it is expected that it will among the top ten solar energy producers by the year 2020.

References Conway, E. M. (2003). Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values. Environmental History, 8(1), 25-32.

Glaser, P. E. (2001). A Global Perspective on Renewable and Solar Energy. The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, 19(2), 16-22.

Truini, J. (2007). Misconceptions slow solar growth, Waste News, 13(6), 4.