China’s Environment Gets Lost in the Haze

Living on Earth

President Clinton is in China this week, meeting with Chinese leaders, and environmental concerns are high on the agenda. With its one point two billion people, and rapid industrialization, China has the ability to thwart international environmental efforts, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. China also has dire domestic ecological issues to contend with from polluted cities to factories that dump toxic waste into rivers, development gobbling up agricultural land, and large areas in the north sinking as farmers draw down the water table. To discuss the current state of China’s environment we turned to Daniel Esty. He’s director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University, and the author of “Sustaining the Asia Pacific Miracle: Environmental Protection and Economic Integration.” Professor Esty visits China often, where, he tells Laura Knoy, it’s become increasingly difficult to breathe the air.

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