China's Environmental Challenges - air pollution and climate change

eri_saikawa

Time: 12:00-1:00pm, Nov. 21, 2014

Location: Modern Languages 201, Emory University

Open and free to the public

"China’s Environmental Challenges – air pollution and climate change"

Eri Saikawa, Assistant Professor, Emory University

Environmental problems and air pollution incidents in China are not at all new. Ever since China started with a rapid economic growth model, there was an underlying policy of industrializing first and cleaning up later. What is new is the magnitude of the problem and also the urgency within the government to solve it. The regulations that have followed the recent extremely bad air pollution events, especially linked to fine particles known as PM2.5, show some new approaches the Chinese central government is trying to take. Prime Minister Li Keqiang pledged to use an “iron fist” on the country’s pollution and “declared war on pollution,” acknowledging that pollution is the major problem in the country. I will discuss how bad China’s air quality has been and currently is the policies that have been put to regulate air pollution, and how different emission sources play a role. I will also raise the point of how air pollution and climate change is linked and what might result from China’s large investment in renewable energy.