China puts economy before environment

by William Yeatman on October 7, 2004

in Science

Hong Kongs air quality is suffering as China continues to emphasize economic growth.  According to a Reuters article (Sept. 21), the autonomous regions air pollution hit a record high on September 14.  Most of the pollution, says Reuters, is attributable to coal-fired power plants in China along with traffic fumes.


Although Hong Kong itself has converted taxicabs to run on liquefied petroleum gas, Double-digit growth in individual car ownership in the neighboring province of Guangdong compounds the problem.  In power generation, CLP Holdings burned 50 percent more coal in 2003 than the previous year and also cut its use of gas as it discovered overestimates in reserves in the South China gas field.


Reuters also points out that, Chinas leaders are aware of the environmental price of breakneck growth but their main priority is to ensure a strong economy to help ease a labor glut.

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