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EU China Environmental Policy Cooperation: Who Benefits?

Ian Barnes, Lin Song

There are many aspects of governance where China has little to learn from its international partners. However, environmental issues are of increasing concern at all levels of Chinese society. The failure of the Chinese government to make significant progress in terms of issues such as air quality has raised concerns about the ability of the PRC to provide one of the most important public goods. This paper reviews the possible impacts of the EU-China Environmental Sustainability Programme and discusses the reality what might be achieved given the poor response to the current crisis. In particular the need for a more global approach throughout China and the need to implement existing measures rather than simply relying declarations which promote the possible sharing of advanced technology with China to diminish the pollution. The paper will also discuss the EU's perspective on these arrangements and the extent to which there needs to be a sharing of responsibility in terms of demand for products with a high environmental impact.The paper will be informed by research which is currently underway in the PRC in terms of the way that Chinese media reports upon the variability of practice within the PRC. It will demonstrate that it is not a lack of technological expertise that is at issue, but the lack of coherent policy implementation.

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