Heavy Energy Consumption and Lack of Environmental Protection Measures in China


While China is among the few countries that have been developing at a skyrocketing speed, heavy consumption of coal and fossil oil and lack of environmental protection measures have led to severe air and water pollution in many parts of China. It is worth comprehending that China is one of the largest producers and coal consumers across the world. Due to the rise in electricity consumption, China has always depended on coal-derived electricity.


China has experienced rapid industrialization over the past decades. As a result, this process has triggered many challenges, such as increased energy demands and environmental degradation. Xiaoyun (15) postulates that China’s industrialization process has contributed to land contamination, air pollution, and worsening water quality. The rapid growth of industries in the countries is solely dependent on huge fossil oil and coal consumption. In this case, there is a common saying that states, “High energy consumption, high pollution, and low production.” The Chinese energy consumption per capita GDP is twice as compared to that of the whole world. Thus, environmental degradation due to high energy consumption has worsened over the years. In 2015, Xiaoyun (16) reports that China’s Sulphur emissions were almost 91 percent of the overall emissions. This research will explore various sources of energy used in China, their effects on the environment, and the available measures to combat this menace.

Carbon Dioxide Make Air Pollution

As observed above, Chinese industrialization has contributed to greenhouse gas emissions. Since energy consumption is based on mining and coal electricity generation, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced at higher rates.  According to China Dialogue, China produced approximately 12 gigatonnes that translate to 30 percent of the global production. In 2016, the country produced approximately 7 tonnes per person. Despite the Signing of important treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement to fight climate change, China remains one of the largest coal users apart from the U.S.A and India. In 2017, these countries increased the consumption of coal. China Dialogue report that China emitted approximately 10150.67 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, followed by the U.S with 5432.69 tons while India had 2342.34 (China Dialogue). In this case, China has always produced a high amount of carbon in the atmosphere, hence devising measures to address this issue.

Government Policy

With the development of the economy, environmental protection has been granted more attention at all levels. Remarkably, the protection of the environment has become the focal national policy and government investment, which has been expanding every year. However, the environmental protection situation is still grim. Over the past few, China has drafted and implemented largescale national policies. China embarked on creating special environmental courts to address matters related to the environment (Idris and Chang, 13). These have been responsible for enforcing environmental laws and curbing challenges related to it. Despite the concerted efforts to address environmental pollution, China is still struggling with air and water pollution. For instance, there was a lot of smoke that spread in different parts of China, which resulted from industrial pollution. These conditions prompted the government to draft further environmental laws.

Although several laws focus on addressing environmental crimes, experts cite most of these legislations have always overlooked carbon dioxide. For example, the Environmental Tax Law that restricts emission concerning noise, air, and water ignores CO2 (Idris and Chang, 13). Therefore, this research explores various gaps in the environmental policies and legislations in China and further recommends ways of addressing them to promote environmental protection.

Works Cited

China Dialogue. “China’s New Carbon Neutrality Pledge: What Next?” Accessed from https://chinadialogue.net/en/

Idris, Mehran, K., and Chang, Yen-Chiang. “Environmental Challenges and Current Practices in China: A Thorough Analysis.” (2018): 2-20

Xiaoyun, Li. “China’s Industrialization: Overview and Implication for Africa’s Industrialization.” (2014): 15-17

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