some personal perspectives for sustainable development

From many Westerners’ view, China has a large population, vast territory and abundant resources as well as the rapid development. However, they also pointed out that China’s inefficient use of resources, the serious problem of waste and pollution and weak awareness of environmental protection. Some Japanese scholars have pointed out: if Japan has the same territory and natural resources like China, they can feed all the world’s people. For this statement, I do not want to give any comment as my limited knowledge. As an ordinary Chinese citizen, I just want to talk about the practice of sustainable development and subsistent problems in our country from my personal perspective and the surroundings around me. Since the great reform and opening which began in 1979, our industry and economy have leapt forward even surpassed Japan at the economic aggregate in last year. This achievement is a miracle in the history of world economy development. Today the theme of the world is sustainable development, GDP is no longer a convincing indicator, more and more developed countries accustomed to use HDI, GPI or ISEW to instead of GDP. If we are still the GDP fetishism, which will push us towards insolvency.

From the economic perspective, investment, consumption and export like three engines to pull countries’ economic. From present situation analysis, the international economy slowdown and external demand decline due to global economic financial crisis and the European debt crisis, which gave a big shock to China’s manufacturing and export processing while the domestic inflation decreased purchasing power. That means two engines of three do not work , the only way to maintain GDP growth is investment. This investment is usually the large number of repetitive construction of infrastructure. We waste huge number of natural capital and man made capital to develop the high-speed railway and real estate, however, the transport capacity has not a significant improvement and there are still more and more people can not afford their housing. The reason of these is the government blind obtain the increase of GDP and their record of achievements. Thanks to the information age, more and more Chinese have awakened, they have realized the sustainable development strategy is an urgent issue should be carried out immediately. For instance, on in August 2011, authorities in the north-eastern Chinese city of Dalian have ordered the closure of a chemical plant after a mass protest over pollution. (the detail information please refer to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14520438).

 

What’s more, some local governments have put large effort into the environment protection. Chinese government owns a large number of service cars (the official data is two million, the real data approximate five million), for realizing the energy-saving and GHG emissions mitigation, government car reform (service car reduction) has been mentioned for more than ten years, however, it was never fulfilled as the big resistance from the top. From last year, Hangzhou is the first provincial capital to carry out the service car reform, 1,200 service cars have been reduced at once and this reform has been realized in several big cities in China one after the other. Also in Hangzhou, the local government established a bicycle service system for making green city, this system include 800 service points and more than 20,000 bicycles in 2009 year and the scale even continues to be extended in the future. people can use the citizen card or coin to borrow the bicycles by themselves and approximate to 200 thousand person-time of utilization per day, very convenient and economic.

For my opinion, developed countries should take the lead in realizing sustainable development and give developing counties some assistances and supports, however, this does not mean developing countries need not do anything. The current state is that developing countries have learned developed countries’ lesson and do not want to repeat the old practices, from the other side, they also do not want to slow down the development or the industrialization progress. How to help the developing countries shorten the industrialization progress and carry out the sustainable development at the some time is the most important issue. As Winston Churchill said: The Americans always do the right thing, but unfortunately it is only after exhausting all the possibilities. Now it is the time to do something right!

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Posted in sustainable development

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