China's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by a high level of environmental degradation. One of the major sources of health and ecosystem damages is sulfur dioxide (SO2). Reducing SO2 emissions is a priority of China's environmental authorities, and the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006–2010) includes the target of reducing total SO2 emissions by 10 percent from the 2005 level.
Ten years ago, there was hardly any environmental enforcement by civil society or by the markets in China. In 1999–2000, the World Bank collaborated on a pilot programme with the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Nanjing University, the Zhenjiang Environmental Protection Bureau in Jiangsu Province and the Hohhot Academy of Environmental Sciences in Inner Mongolia.
This article describes a multidisciplinary study of market-based policies for controlling air pollution in China. While previous studies have examined the costs and benefits of pollution control separately, this approach determines them together using an economy–environment model for China.
Air pollution in urban China is increasingly attributed to dispersed sources such as motor vehicles and construction sites, over which environmental protection bureaus (EPBs) share jurisdiction with other government line agencies.
The purposes of placing sensors in water distribution systems vary from complying with water quality regulations, monitoring accidental contamination events, and detecting intentional contamination events.
The link between institutional and market failures, rural poverty and environmental degradation suggests a ‘win-win’ policy intervention: relax local ‘constraints’ and achieve poverty alleviation and environmental goals.
Forestland Reform in China: What Do the Farmers Want? A Choice Experiment on Farmers' Property Rights Preferences
With decentralization experiments occurring in the Chinese forestry sector, the authors used a survey-based choice experiment to investigate farmers’ preferences for various property-rights attributes of a forestland contract.
This paper focuses on the concept of social capital and its impacts on natural resources management. The paper contributes to the continuing debate over the multifaceted concept of social capital, and its three dimensions including network, trust and norm. Then it analyzes impacts of social capital on natural resources management based on the three dimensions.
Drawing on a dataset covering a large number of randomly sampled villages across China, the present paper examines the issue of residential solid waste management service provision in rural China.
“Co-benefits” of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies in China: An Integrated Top-Down and Bottom-Up Modeling Analysis
This paper describes an integrated modeling approach to combine a top-down, recursive CGE model with a bottom-up, electricity-sector model to simulate two categories of policies.
Forest data from the recent period of rapid growth in China show interesting macroeconomic and population impacts on the forest.
The Co-Benefits of Mitigating the Global Greenhouse Gases in China – An Integrated Top-Down and Bottom-Up Modeling Analysis
Many greenhouse gas mitigation policies that shift fossil fuel use are accompanied by some hidden environmental benefits, so called “co-benefits” or “ancillary benefits.”
Household Income Growth, Diversification and the Implicit Costs of Reform: The Case of China’s State Forest Sector
As with other components of its receding planned economy, China’s state forestry sector faces growing pressure to reform, restructure and liberalize, with policymakers considering the tradeoffs between the shorter-term social welfare impacts versus the longer-term goals of economic and environmental sustainability.
This is a book chapter in Plantations, Privatization, Poverty and Power: Changing Ownership and Management of State Forests, edited by M. Garforth and J. Mayers. Earthscan: London.
Using nationally representative data, the present paper examines the impact of China's ongoing rural tax reform on farmers. The difficulties in further local governance restructuring are also discussed.
This paper studies the impact of the largest conservation set-aside program in the developing world, China’s Grain for Green program, on poverty alleviation in rural areas. Based on a large-scale survey, we find that although poor households in rural China were not disproportionately targeted, they have benefited.
Over the last two decades, China has sustained a rapid economic growth at about 8-10%, part of which is attributed to the positive total factor productivity (TFP) growth. However, this extraordinary economic performance has been accompanied by severe environmental pollution and associated health damage.
This is a guest speech when Prof Xu was attending the OECD Roundtable for Sustainable Development, January 8-9, 2007, Paris.
Research on the Performance of the State-owned Forestry Industry Enterprise Based on the Principal-Agent Theory
Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the state-owned forestry industry (SOFI) has contributed greatly to national construction and social development. However, since the end of the 1970s the SOFI has been affected by the “two crises” [poor economic performance and ecological degradation], and these to date have yet to be resolved.
Understanding relationship between environmental protection and economic development is crucial to form practical environmental policy. At micro level, implementation of environmental regulations often causes production mills adjustment of technology which might leads to change of productive efficiency and cost, which, in turn, determine effort level of mills and even local government in pollution control.
The Chinese government is lowering its subsidies for renewable energy, after researchers found that they were too high relative to the rapidly dropping global price of wind and solar technologies.
High state subsidies have helped speed the growth of the renewable energy sector in China, but they now threaten the sustainability of the government’s funding policy for this sector. This is particularly true given the recent reduction in the cost of solar and wind technologies globally. Together, these factors are making the supply side of the sector extremely profitable in China, but are depleting state funds that are earmarked for this much-needed growth.
A plan to reduce automobile traffic in Beijing was in the hands of the city’s mayor in late 2013. EfD China played a major role in figuring out what strategies would – and would not – be likely to reduce the pollution and congestion that Beijing residents have been facing as a result of economic growth.
“Key messages resulting from the multi-year study include redistributing management responsibility between central and local governments, and allowing localized decision on reforming state forest enterprises,” says Jintao Xu.
Beijing is the world´s most congested city as measured by average vehicle speed. It is also one of the most air polluted cities, with a substantial part of the emissions coming from vehicles. To find effective policy instruments to address these serious urban challenges, Environment for Development in China/the Environmental Economics Program in China (EEPC) and Beijing Transportation Research Center are collaborating in a research program.
For ten years he has pointed to forests as a major asset for sustainable development in China. Finally and just in time for the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, China’s national leaders are as convinced as professor Jintao Xu: Forests have a unique potential to contribute to sustainable economic development and a reduction of China's massive carbon emissions.
”It has been widely acknowledged that lack of appropriate mechanisms and incentives in the state forest sector, as well as lack of secure forest tenure for farmers in the collective forest sector, underpin severe poverty in forested areas and unsatisfactory performance of forest resource conservation", says Professor Jintao Xu, the coordinator of EfD in China and one of China’s most prominent experts in forestry economics.
This is an example of how EfD research can influence policy, more specifically Forest tenure reform in China.