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Sources of Pollution

Posted in China,Emissions Trading,Papers by Cheryl Morgan on the October 8th, 2008

The generally accepted wisdom in the West tends to be that China is industrializing on the cheap, and spewing out vast quantities of pollution from poorly built power stations. A new study from MIT takes aim at that idea. New Chinese power stations, they say, are often very modern and efficient. What they lack is not technology, but economic incentives. Because China has no emissions markets, power station owners choose to burn the cheapest coal that they can find, regardless of how much pollution this generates. And although their power stations come with expensive gadgets like smokestack scrubbers, they don’t use them because that costs money. The full paper is available here.

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