OECD Economics Department Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-1973 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18151973
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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

 

Reforms for a Cleaner, Healthier Environment in China You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Sam Hill1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
17 Apr 2013
Bibliographic information
No.:
1045
Pages
48
DOI
10.1787/5k480c2dh6kf-en

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China’s exceptional economic expansion has led to rising energy demand and pollution as well as other environmental pressures. Strong efforts by the government have moderated emissions of some types of air and water pollution from high levels but others, including greenhouse gas emissions, continue to rise. Poor air and water quality threaten human health, create other costs and reduce well-being. The 12th Five Year Plan aims at further reducing pollution and at other environmental improvements. To achieve these goals in a cost-effective manner wide-ranging reforms are needed. Reliance on command-and-control measures ought to make way gradually for well-implemented market-based approaches. Energy and water pricing need to be reformed to provide stronger incentives for end-users. So does pollution pricing. A carbon tax should be given serious consideration, especially if pilot carbon emissions trading schemes turn out to be difficult to implement. As well, stronger standards are needed, including for motor vehicles and fuels. Efforts to enhance environmental enforcement, particularly at the local level, will also be key to further progress. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of China (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/china).
Keywords:
energy, emissions trading scheme, environmental taxation, pollution, water pollution, China, air pollution, renewable energy, cities, environment, carbon tax, health
JEL Classification:
  • I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
  • Q00: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / General / General
  • Q25: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Water
  • Q28: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Government Policy
  • Q4: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Energy
  • Q5: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics
  • R48: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Transportation Systems / Government Pricing and Policy