As Chinas economic growth continues to blossom in 2007, with the countries GDP hitting 11.4%, alongside China gets hit by an environmental crisis. Sixteen of the worlds twenty most polluted cities are in China. Experts say the Chinese government has made serious efforts to clean up and achieved many of the bid commitments. Beijings pledge to host a Green Olympics in the summer of 2008 signaled the countrys willingness to address its environmental problems for example. However, an environmentally sustainable growth rate remains a serious challenge for the country. (http://www.cfr.org/china/chinas-environmental-crisis/p12608)
Chinas major environmental issues: * Water- China suffers from water shortage and water pollution. About one-third of Chinas population lacks access to clean drinking water. s part of its effort to harness the nations water supply, China has a large dam-building program with over twenty-five thousand dams nationwidemore than any other nation. The dam projects are not only a high cost in terms of money, but also in farmland loss, ecological damage, and forced migration of millions of people, says the Woodrow Wilson Centers Jennifer L. Turner, director of its China Environment Forum, in a report for the Jamestown Foundation.
* Land- Desertification in China leads to the loss of about 5,800 square miles of grasslands every year, an area roughly the size of Connecticut. The Worldwatch Institute, an environmental watchdog and research organization, reports that excessive farm cultivation, particularly overgrazing, is one of the leading causes of desertification. As the deforestation grows, so do the number of sandstorms; a hundred were expected between 2000 and 2009. Desertification also contributes to Chinas air pollution problems, with increasing dust causing a third of Chinas air pollution.
* Greenhouse gases- In 2008, China surpassed the United States as the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases by volume. (Not per capita however) The increase in Chinas emissions is primarily due to the countrys reliance on coal, which accounts for over two-thirds of its energy consumption, contributing to sulfur dioxide emissions causing acid rain.