In 2008, the American embassy in Beijing attempted to publish information measuring the amount of smog, but was denied by China’s government. However, now China seems to be becoming more receptive to this idea, as the government is releasing data that was formerly kept secret. This is major news for Chinese environmental activists because now citizens have important facts that can potentially be used to improve environmental standards in China.
Quick fact check:
“China is now emitting almost twice as much carbon dioxide as the next biggest producer, America.”
“At current rates, it will produce 500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 1990 and 2050 – as much as the whole world produced between the start of the Industrial Revolution and 1970.”
“Pollutants in the air in Beijing have hit 40 times the level decreed safe by the World Health Organization.”
Part of the problem is that China didn’t have a government department devoted to environmental protection until 2008 – and this sector has largely kept information under wraps. New rules have just been implemented that requires over 15,000 enterprises to make their pollution discharges public in real time. Additionally, in 2012, only a handful of Chinese cities released air quality data whereas now, 179 do. I am interested to see if foreign investors take note of these trends and if China will experience a resurgence of manufacturing job orders.