Environment and Energy Policy

Background and main challenges

Authored by: Andreas Oberheitmann , Paul Hugo Suding

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138831117
eBook ISBN: 9781315736761
Adobe ISBN:


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Any economic activity, indeed every human activity, is associated with the use of energy services such as heat, light, power and others, which are predominantly produced from fossil fuels, though often indirectly via electricity. Increasing energy services is important to drive economic development and increase economic welfare of a country. However, the combustion of fossil fuels also entails negative environmental side effects such as local pollution, including emissions of particles, soot and sulphur dioxide (SO2) from incomplete combustion of coal with high sulphur content, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other global greenhouse gases (GHGs). Achieving economic development and accelerating the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) increases the demand for energy services so that, if energy efficiency remains poor and the share of non-fossil energy remains low, even more high-emitting fuel is used, which results in a vicious circle, if, for example, cleaning up exhaust gases needs more energy.

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