From China Daily:
The key to solving China’s environmental issues is to improve society’s awareness. The common excuse that China is still at the early stage of economic development and needs to focus on alleviating poverty rather than protecting the environment does not wash. The argument goes that as the economy develops and per capita income increases, there will be greater demand on the environment and measures will be taken to improve it.
This “pollute first, improve later” concept is based on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), a theory on environmental degradation and the per capita income of a country developed by US economists Gene Grossman and Alan Krueger. According to the EKC, pollution follows an inverted U-shaped pattern relative to the country’s income level. [Full Text]
Lin Boqiang (Êûó‰ºØÂº∫) is director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University