In January 2013, as air pollution reached record levels in much of eastern China, Chinese multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao sold cans of air on the street in smog-ridden Beijing to send a simple message: ‘I want to tell mayors, county chiefs and heads of big companies: don’t just chase GDP growth, don’t chase the biggest profits at the expense of our children and grandchildren and at the cost of sacrificing our ecological environment’.1 As a temporary response to the ‘hazardous’ air quality in Beijing, with particulate matter readings reaching over 40 times those considered safe by the World Health Organisation, the municipal government temporarily shut down more than 100 heavily polluting factories and ordered 30 per cent of government vehicles off the roads.2 It is clear (pardon the pun), however, that these emergency measures are not longterm solutions, with the transition towards a new model of economic growth now widely considered to be an imperative, not an option.
|Title of host publication||China: A New Model for Growth and Development|
|Editors||Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang and Ligang Song|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|