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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Wednesday, July 23, 2003



5. U.N.:World can't afford rich China


Thursday, July 17, 2003

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) --China's ambitious economic growth plans are
environmentally unachievable because the world does not have enough
resources to allow its 1.3 billion people to become Western-style consumers,
a U.N. official has said.

Klaus Toepfer, head of the U.N. Environment Program, said China's aim of
quadrupling its economy by 2020 can only occur if developed nations
radically change their consumption habits to free up scarce resources for
the world's poor.

"Quadrupling the GDP of a country of 1.3 billion, can you imagine what are
the consequences if you go in the same structure as was done in the
so-called developed countries?" Toepfer told reporters during a visit to
Sydney Wednesday.

He said that if China had the same density of private cars as, for example
Germany, it would have to produce 650 million vehicles -- a target that
environmentalists say the world's supply of metal and oil would be unable to
sustain.

"It's not a question whether you are devoted to nature or whether this is an
emotional topic. This is the rationality of economics," Toepfer said.

China's gross domestic product, or GDP, grew eight percent last year and the
government expects it to expand another seven percent in 2003.

Toepfer was in Australia to attend a conference of young environmentalists
from Asia, discussing ways of changing consumer habits so that precious
resources such as water are conserved.

He said the world's approach to resource use was going through a significant
phase with slow economic growth persuading governments in Europe and North
America to aggressively try to stimulate consumption.

While senior Chinese officials appeared to be fully aware of the constraints
the environment placed on their economic plans, Toepfer said more work
needed to be done in developed nations to make environmentally friendly
products "trendy" and mainstream.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Sikkim will not be an issue in Sino-Indian ties
  2. New momentum to China talks: PM
  3. Indian Communist Party's Delegation Visiting Tibet
  4. Response to Michael Parenti's article on Tibet
  5. U.N.:World can't afford rich China
  6. Tibet Simplifies Tourism Procedures for Taiwanese Tourists
  7. The world's next superpower



Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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