What’s it Going to Cost to Clean Up China? Ôºç Brian Bremner

From The BusinessWeek Online:

A new report tries to quantify the country’s colossal problem. One estimate puts just the initial cost at $135 billion.

Just how costly is China’s environmental mess? The working assumption is that the situation is somewhere between really bad and off-the-charts ghastly. Yet getting a real statistical grip on the scale of the problem has been tough for Chinese leaders and outside observers alike. To its credit, President Hu Jintao’s government is trying to remedy that and has just published a statistical portrait of the mainland’s ecological woes that makes for some disturbing reading.

In early September, China’s State Environmental Protection Administration and the National Bureau of Statistics of China published a two-year study that takes a stab at analyzing the real economic costs of the mainland’s world-class industrial pollution problems.

The aim here is to adjust China’s supersonic economic growth”the mainland clocked 10.6% growth in the first half”to reflect the price tag of environmental damage in terms of public health, lost agricultural production, and productive use of land and water from pollution. (You can find an English-language summary of the study at here.) [Full Text]

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