The central government announced today that it will spend $16 billion over the next three years to battle pollution in Beijing. The plan calls for upgrades to sewage treatment centers, new garbage disposal plants, and measures to improve air and water quality. Though almost all major cities in China face severe pollution problems, in Beijing the problem is particuraly bad. This new plan is a positive step forward, and shows that the government is committed to cleaning up its cities.
Pollution in China poses a couple of serious long term consequences. As such a large nation, China’s impact on global pollution is significant. Without a serious effort to curb green house gas emissions, Chinese will continue to be a major driver of global warming.
Secondly, the long term health consequences for the Chinese are serious. Years of drinking tainted water and breathing in dirty air has the potential to cause many health problems. Not only does this lower quality of life, but also results in high costs of healthcare in the future. High healthcare costs would have the potential to slow the Chinese economy.