3 Apr 2014

Environment is priceless

Q writes:*

In 2013, a serious haze occurred in almost all regions of the middle east of China. The haze lasted for an approximately half month from December 2nd to 14th. Once again, another haze occurred in Feb 2014. It is no doubt that the haze was caused by air pollution, but why it takes place so often in winter? The answer is that the government burns a great amount of coal to provide urban heating in northern China which lead to a severe air pollution. In China, coal is much cheaper than natural gas, solar energy and so on. But compare to the cheap price of coal, the government of China should pay more attention on the serious air pollution caused by coal burning.

There are many ways that can reduce air pollution which caused by coal burning. For example, reduce air pollution by improving the quality of coals. China imports a great amount of coals but many of them are inferior coals which contain a lower calorific value, higher ash and higher sulfur. Burning these inferior coals will discharge much more dust, CO, harmful substance and pollutants. To deal with it I think the government of China should restrict the quality of coal imported from other countries and adding tax on it. For those firms who burn inferior coals, they should also pay more environment tax. As a result, less inferior coals will be imported into China and less firms will use it.

Bottom Line: Though China has a rapid growth of GDP, the reduction of environmental quality is also rapidly. The innovation of energy resource structure must be enforced to keep our mother-land clean. Sacrificing environment to promote economy is not a good business.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.