China’s environment in 2020

Jonathan Watts

By 2020, the strain on world resources is likely to loom large as the biggest issue facing global policymakers. National governments will struggle to balance two fundamental approaches to survival: international cooperation to conserve and nationalist competition to consume. In this international context, China and its environment will take centre stage with Beijing’s approach raising both fear and optimism among the planet’s population.

From 2010 to 2020, China will have staked a strong claim to be the world’s greenest superpower thanks to a massive expansion of its renewable energy sector and other low-carbon technologies. But on current trajectories, it will also be a greyer, less biodiverse ...

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