Fighting for air: frontline of war on global warming – Jonathan Watts and Randeep Ramesh

The Guardian reports on how China and India are both tackling environmental degradation in the face of rapid economic growth:

 Sys-Images Guardian Pix Pictures 2007 03 26 China is the frontline of the battle against global warming. For the past five years, the city of 3.5 million people has been the most polluted place on the planet, bottom of the World Bank’s air quality rankings, and a symbol of the worst side-effects of China’s breakneck economic growth.

Enveloped by a spectral haze, the city lies at the heart of a 12-mile industrial belt, fed by the 50m tonnes of coal mined each year in the nearby hills of Shanxi province. The New York-based Blacksmith Institute puts it alongside Chernobyl on a list of the planet’s 10 most contaminated places.

What Linfen symbolises is the cost of development in China and the other most populous country: India. [Full text]

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