China 2004 pollution clean-up cost put at $136bln – Ben Blanchard

Revived talk of Green GDP with a Reuters story on a new report from the State Environmental Protection Agency:

It would cost China about $136 billion, close to 7 percent of GDP, to clean up all the pollution pumped out in the country just in 2004, the national environmental protection watchdog said on Thursday.

A one-off, direct investment to clean up all the pollution for that year would cost 1.08 trillion yuan ($135.9 billion), with most of that being put towards , according to the report on the State Environmental Protection Administration’s Web site (www.zhb.gov.cn)…

“This marks only the beginning of our efforts to calculate ,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Pan [Yue, vice-minister of SEPA] as saying of the report. “Our formula is still not complete and we have to keep working hard to improve it.” [Full Text]

Also out today, an “exclusive” People’s Daily Online interview with Jia Feng, deputy director of SEPA’s Center for Environmental Education and Communications, blasting China’s pursuit of the West’s “develop first, clean up later” approach to development:

“If we choose the western way, I’m afraid that we have neither time nor conditions, maybe before the highest pollutants are discharged, the ecological system that shoulders economic development will be crashed, then how can we have sustainable development? Other social issues brought about by environment issue may also threat our national sustainability.” [Full Text]

No mention of Green GDP in this piece, but the statistics included make no bones about the high cost of regular GDP growth.

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