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The consequences of global warming are now well defined and particularly alarming. In view of the stupendous economic advances of the larger NICs, with China in the first rank, no “business as usual” scenario in the matter of GHG emissions can be acceptable. The aim of this article is to expose the challenges posed to the Chinese economy in adapting to the disciplines of sustainability.
This article represents a first attempt to pull together relevant materials with the aim of providing a broad-brush view of how climate change may affect Greater Pearl River Delta (GPRD) region (Hong Kong, Macau and the Pearl River Delta). Among the various consequences of climate change, rising sea levels are a matter of great concern for the GPRD region, which is made vulnerable both by its physical geography (the southern part of the delta lies between – 0.3m to 0.4m relative to mean sea level (MSL)) and its urban development. More in-depth research and modeling remain to be done so that the authorities, business and civil society can better understand climate impacts on the region, but this article shows that climate change could have a big impact on the regional economy, which represents nearly 10% of China’s GNP. The paper concludes with a discussion of the measures that government and businesses will need to consider in order to adapt to these future conditions.
A dust cloud over the Pacific visible from orbiting satellites, an alarming growth in mercury content throughout the biosphere in North America, global CO2 emissions greater than those of the United States from 2009: the formidable growth of China’s thermoelectric generating capacity, based on coal production that crossed the threshold of two billion tons (2Gt) in 2005, is becoming one of the major industrial evolutions threatening the global environment. What is more, while the developed world’s ecological impact should, in the future, be moderated by the slowdown in energy growth and far-reaching technological changes, China’s impact is only now beginning to make itself felt. Its current consumption per capita of 1.25 tons equivalent petroleum (TEP) and of 1,607 kWh is still closer to the average of developing countries than to that of the developed world (4.73 and 8,204). Who, and in the name of what principle, could demand of China that it willingly renounces modernisation, which cannot be achieved without an increased supply of electricity, fuelled by coal, the only abundant and cheap energy source at its disposal?
As a proportion of China’s energy bill, the non-industrial sectors appear almost secondary, so great is the amount of industrial consumption. Energy consumed for transport, housing and services adds up to only half the energy required by Chinese industry. Yet, since the start of the reforms, total urban consumption has grown ever larger alongside the secondary or industrial sector. The structure of China’s energy consumption has altered considerably during this period because of industrial changes and the rapid urbanisation of the country. Urban development has led to strong growth in energy consumption within these sectors.
The questions of climate change and environmental protection are now a clear component of Beijing’s official rhetoric. Already taken into account in the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2000-2005) with few concrete results, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and conservation have become some of the leading priorities in the roadmap set down by the government for 2006-2011. Despite the scientific uncertainties surrounding the question((1), there is no longer any doubt in China that the country’s exponential economic growth is a major contributor to the degradation of the natural environment.
At the moment that China signed the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nations on 29 May 1998 (ratification followed on 30 August 2002), most Chinese people knew hardly anything about climate change. Despite the proliferation of government environmental policies during the 1990s((1), Chinese society played absolutely no part in the initiatives for combating climate change. Nevertheless, as Pan Yue, the Chinese Environment Minister, has pointed out, Without the participation of the public, there can be no protection of the environment. Mobilising Chinese society to take an active part is all the more important since the fight against climate change will be fought in the area of energy savings: a warning given by the Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, on the occasion of the opening session of the National People’s Congress in March 2007.
Following the global trend of financial liberalisation, Taiwan’s government has dedicated itself to its own financial “Big Bang” since the late 1980s. An essential part of this financial overhaul has been the reform of the state-owned banks (SOBs). It was believed that privatisation and deregulation of the SOBs could effectively enhance the efficiency of Taiwan’s financial sector. After almost two decades, however, the reform is still not complete. Given its importance, the question arises: why is it taking so long? This article argues that the state has been unable to implement its planned reform policies as its ability to carry out the SOB reform has been significantly constrained by the newly rising political forces resulting from Taiwan’s democratisation. This study highlights the new challenges and possibilities of financial governance for the state in Taiwan in an era of democratisation, and could be interesting for future comparative study with other young democracies that also actively undertake financial liberalisation.
At a time when China is strengthening its economic ties with African countries both by sourcing raw materials and tapping a large consumer goods market, African traders are expanding their presence in China. Making the most of the conditions offered by the authorities, they have opened trading posts in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in order to sell products manufactured elsewhere in China for African customers. These traders are at the forefront of a new migration wave. This article analyses their profiles and itineraries before exploring their impact on the transformation of two specific locations: Chunking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, and the Xiao Beilu area in Guangzhou.