Globalisation and China’s Environmental Problems Essay

1756 Words 8 Pages
Is the lifestyle of people in Europe and the USA a major cause of China’s environmental problems?

One of China’s best successes has in turn been one of its biggest downfalls. One of the main problems is China’s greatest success which has been its phenomenal economic growth. This is one of the main drivers of the current environmental problems that the country faces. Factories dump pollutants into the air and water. It is difficult to see the Chinese government making the significant sacrifices required to improve their environment if it means slowing down their economic growth.

In order to understand why China is in such environmental difficulties we need to understand why the lifestyles of people in Europe and the US could be to
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These two areas are a result of increased industrialisation to keep up with the rapid growth in Chinas export. One major external driver is outside influences such as the US, by the demanding lower products and goods, manufacturers are forced to reduce any environmental safeguards that they had in place. An example of this is when a textiles mill in southern China was caught dumping 22,000 tons of contaminated water from its dyeing operation each day turning the whole river dark red. Another driver behind behaviour such as this is the ever growing discount clothing chain stores. Prices on fabric and clothing have fallen by 25% since 1995 and the particular article this was taken from was put together back in 2007. The discount clothing giants have become even more cut throat and competitive over the last few years. This behaviour is what has made China a huge export giant but has cost them so much more. The inflated prices you may pay elsewhere take into consideration the cost of manufacturing and all the other associated costs in production and safe removal of industrial waste. From China a great deal of the time you are paying simply for the product or service and not to cover the costs of environmental safeguard.

By 2006 there were 6000 registered environmental groups in China. They are growing in numbers, influence and assertiveness. These groups are made up of people that are now beginning to understand the consequences of rapid growth and