China’s pollution problems are costing the country more than US$200 billion a year, a top official said yesterday as he called for stronger action to balance environmental protection against economic development.
Environmental damage is costing the government roughly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, estimated Zhu Guangyao, deputy chief of the State Environmental Protection Agency. China’s GDP for 2005 was US$2.26 trillion.
Despite the efforts of half a million environmental officials in his agency and other organizations, China’s environmental picture is worsening and “allows for no optimism,” he said as he issued a report that described the situation as “grave.” [full text]
See also AP’s “Chinese Official Sees Private Role on Environment”