MAC: Mines and Communities

China Update

Published by MAC on 2006-02-23

China Update

23rd February 2006

Introducing "green accounting" to a state in the throes of massive and often indiscriminate industrialisation sounds encouraging. Yet, according to conventional GDP figures, China will have to spend more on containing pollution than it reaps in accelerating "growth".

As the regime turns increasingly to nuclear power to meet energy demand, so this "quick fix" looks more and more chimerical. Thirty projected plants will deliver only 4% of estimated energy needs by 2020, but require massive inputs of uranium from other countries.

In this update, we're also happy to publish four articles from the World Watch Institute's "China Watch" site. They deal with China's neglect of the rights of its Indigenous Peoples; the impacts of acid rain; the continued dumping of hazardous wastes - notably mercury - into waterways; and attempts to address the vastly increasing problem of so-called "e-wastes."

The country's galloping export of electronic products - rich in the highly toxic metals cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, as well as mercury - will suffer from European Union regulations, due to come into effect this July.

At the same time, the regime is framing compulsory legislation to impose limits on the import of hazardous substances which are stricter than those of the EU itself.

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