Dean Wang is a Political Science Major and an Environmental Studies and Sociology Minor. This essay is a culmination of Dean’s major and minors, as the literature takes theories, studies and concept from all three concentrations of study.
Ever since China embraced the Open Door Policy in 1978, the country opened its borders to the world economy and has not looked back since. Within decades, China’s economy made leaps and bounds like no other country in history. By 2010, China had overtaken Japan as the second largest economy in the world, and many economists expect China to overtake the United States by as early as 2020. However, with exponential growth comes exponential consumption, as the world’s most populous nation is also the world’s largest energy consumer and consequently is the leading emitter of CO2. Although the Chinese Government has become self-aware of the environmental issues the country faces, in the last two decades the government has taken drastic steps to alleviate the growing environmental concerns both domestically and internationally. From a distance, some of the drastic environmental goals China has proposed seem improbable; many skeptics believe China simply cannot “Go Green”, as the hungry nation will only continue to consume more to sustain its economic growth. Is China’s green campaign a false goal or an achievable reality? What are China’s potential alternative sources of energy consumption? Can China balance its economic growth with its environmental sustainability goals before the world reaches the “point of no return”? China’s road to sustainability is not only a recent phenomenon but an achievable one. While China’s environmental goals will not only hope to drastically change the environmental hazards the nation has brought upon itself, but China’s future policies will also without a doubt have an immediate effect on the hazardous trans-boundary pollution that has affected the bordering nations surrounding China and the entire global climate.