chapter  1
32 Pages

Economic growth and environmental regulation in the People’s Republic of China: Introduction to the volume

An overview of the People’s Republic of China’s growth and environmental quality The transformation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the last 30 years from a closed agricultural economy to what it is today – i.e. the world’s third largest economy, after the United States and Japan – has not only materially enriched the country’s population to varying degrees, but has also brought about environmental degradation. The environmental challenges confronting the PRC are diverse and growing, and include the following:

1 land degradation; 2 water scarcity and pollution; 3 air pollution; 4 inadequate urban environmental infrastructure; 5 contamination of the rural environment; 6 increasing frequency and intensity of environmental accidents; 7 loss of biodiversity; and 8 global climate change.1