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How far do you agree that Chinas environmental problems are primarily due to

the lack of coordination between the central and local policies?


After Chinas opening up in 1978, its priority has been to develop the economy at
all cost and as such the environment has been bearing the brunt of its
development. While the central government has a large part to play in the
environmental problems China faces today, even when they try to ameliorate
Chinas environmental problems, their efforts are mostly undermined by the lack
of coordination between the central and local policies. Hence, this essay seeks to
argue that Chinas environmental problems are primarily due to the lack of
coordination between the central and local provinces because despite of the
great amount of effort put in by the Beijing government, incompliance of the
local governance renders the efforts ineffectual and therefore perpetuates
Chinas environment woes by continuing to jeopardize the economy for the sake
of economic growth.
The central government has a large part to play in the environmental woes that
China faces today as it is the central governments policy that has brought about
the environment predicament China is in today. Environmental crisis is a direct
outcome of market economic reforms. Relentless drive of Chinas leaders to
amass power, consolidate territory, develop the economy and support a
burgeoning population have led to the plundering of forests and mineral
resources, constructing river diversion and leading to poor water management
projects. There is a clear lack of ethos for conservation. The maxim
development first, then environment was a common rhetoric throughout the
19880s and 1990s. By 2002, China had become home to six of the most polluted
cities in the world. More than 75% of the waters flowing through Chinas urban
areas was unsuitable for drinking or fishing.
However, lacking of coordination between the central and local government, the
continual jeopardy of the economy for the sake of economic growth perpetuates
Chinas economic woes by offsetting areas of success in improving the
environment. Devolution of authority to provincial and local official has led to a
free rein to concentrate energies on economic growth, pushing aside
environmental considerations. In many regions, land, water and forest resources
are squandered without considering necessity of conservation or replenishment
of natural resources. Privately run cottage industries that have fuelled much of
Chinas economic growth are difficult to regulate. They pose a greater threat to
the environment than the SOEs. Proliferation of tanneries, chemical and fertilizer
factories, makers of brick, tile, pottery and porcelain, small coal fired power
plants and pulp and paper factories have all contributed to a dramatic increase
in pollution outside Chinas major cities. By 2000, TVEs were estimated to be
estimated to be responsible for 50% of all pollutants nationally.
The central government has a large part to play in the environmental woes that
China faces today as the standard set is not high enough to deal with Chinas
environmental problems and hence naturally, measures will be ineffective when
it waters down to provincial level. For example, at Copenhagen summit, China
has promised to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% to 45% from the increment
rate after 2005. However, this does not mean that China would reduce its carbon
emission in absolute terms and it would not compromise Chinas emphasis to
achieve higher growth. Although the central government recognizes the use of
economic penalties and incentives for promoting the use of clean energy such as
fines, taxes and subsidies, specific laws to deal with different environmental

problems are yet to be enacted and a set of consistent policies is yet to be


formulated. The work involves listing all polluting activities in production and
consumption, estimating their costs to society as externalities and specifying a
set of most suitable penalties for violation and economic inducements for the
specifying a set of most suitable penalties for violation and economic
inducements for the adoption of clean energy alternatives.
However, Chinas environmental problems are primarily due to the lack of
coordination between the central and local policies because it undermines the
effectiveness of many governmental policies to improve the environment.
Chinese producers violate environmental protection laws to reduce cost of
production. More importantly, local government officials to allow pollution to take
place illegally in order to promote a higher rate of economic growth and the
central governmental cannot control them. Local government officials benefit
from higher levels of output in their region as they receive credits for economic
development and sometimes bribes from pollution producers. These factors will
continue to hinder the enforcement of environmental laws for some time to
come.
The central government has a large part to play in the environmental woes that
China faces today because lacking of resolve, it is actually tacitly condoning
growth at the expense of the economy. If the government wishes, it has the
power to enact laws that integrate local governments success in environmental
conservation alongside economic growth to their political performances as the
operation of an industrial enterprise requires its approval as sometimes even its
assistance in the provision of land or credit. Since there is a positive linear
correlation between price and energy consumption, the government can also
increase price of existing energy to prevent wastage. Alternatively, the
government can also reduce the price of clean energy as compared to existing
energy to protect the environment since thee control of pollution resulting room
production using existing technology is difficult.
However, in the absence of government regulation, the lack of coordination
between the central and local policies greatly exacerbated the environmental
condition without considering the welfare of the people.
In conclusion, the central government has a large part to play in the
environmental problems China faces today. However, even when they try to
ameliorate Chinas environmental problems, their efforts are mostly undermined
by the lack of coordination between the central and local policies. Therefore,
Chinas environmental problems are primarily due to the lack of coordination
between the central and local provinces because despite of the great amount of
effort put in by the Beijing government, incompliance of the local governance
renders the efforts ineffectual and therefore perpetuates Chinas environment
woes by continuing to jeopardize the economy for the sake of economic growth.