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[greenyes] Environmnent in China
Wither changes in e-waste imports and greenhouse gas reduction?


      from the February 10, 2005 edition -

      China enforcing green laws, suddenly
      Beijing has targeted 22 major energy projects to assess their
environmental impact.
      By Robert Marquand | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

      BEIJING - As many as 22 major dams and power stations under
construction in China, including a key power facility at the controversial
Three Gorges Dam, have slowed or stopped work pending an environmental

      In the first instance of its kind, top Chinese leaders appear to be
throwing their clout behind laws requiring environmental-impact statements
for large energy-related projects.




      In the past decade, China's roaring double-digit growth, industrial
output, and booming new-car sales have caused some of the worst air and
water pollution in Asia.



      "I think this is a significant moment; it signifies a new
consciousness about the environment," says Elizabeth Economy of the Council
on Foreign Relations in New York. "Pan Yue is spearheading that move among
elites, and SEPA clearly has the ear of [Premier] Wen Jiabao."

      The environment is a popular grass-roots issue in China, one of the
few issues the central government allows some public discussion about. Every
top college in China has an active student environmental group. The
government of President Hu Jintao, moreover, which has a "people first"
platform, knows the environment has a special hold on the imagination of a
broad range of Chinese - partly because many of the children of high-ranking
are involved in nongovernmental environmental lobby groups.

      Few analysts say Beijing is about to allow large-scale public works
projects, a source of employment and energy, to be vetoed by a small agency.

      Yet analysts agree the high profile push by SEPA is a signal - to
reform-minded elites, a generation of younger educated Chinese, and
policymakers in other countries where the environment gets top billing -
that the environment will weigh more heavily in planning and decisionmaking.

      "There are about 70 environmental groups doing things at the local
level," says Nick Young of China Development Brief In Beijing, which follows
voluntary groups in China. "These aren't just clubs, but are active - and
effective. The environment is a sector where there are real are imaginative
possibilities in China."






Peter Anderson, President
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