June 27, 2015

Pollution Could Overwhelm China

Bloomberg Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said China’s leaders are serious about tackling environmental problems yet could be overwhelmed as hundreds of millions more people flock to cities in coming decades. by Noah Buhayar

'China’s leaders “care about climate change and they understand it and are seriously working on it -- that’s the good news,” Paulson said Thursday during an event in Seattle. “The bad news is they’ve taken all kinds of actions, but they’ve been blown away by the explosive, breakneck growth.”

'Paulson has been traveling the globe to promote his latest book, “Dealing With China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower.” He has said Asia’s largest economy is “running out of steam” and risks a “day of reckoning” if leaders don’t adopt a new model for municipal finances.

'The book also addresses environmental challenges facing the country. On Thursday, Paulson called China’s urbanization policy “broken” because it creates pollution and stress. He estimated that the number of people in cities there could surge by 300 million over the next 25 years from about 650 million now.

'“The dirty air is killing people,” Paulson said. China’s leaders “don’t believe the Communist Party will stay in power unless they make progress” on pollution, he said.'

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