Can environmental protection promote social development?
Peking University, Apr. 1, 2013: Faced with today’s dilemma between environmental protection and economic development, we are constantly confronted with the question how we could solve it effectively. Professor Zhang Shiqiu, PKU College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, presented her approach to this puzzle in her lecture titled “Environmental Protection Can Promote Social Development” on March 28.
In Zhang’s point of view, the relationship between environment and economy is not necessarily incompatible. Environmental protection can promote economic and social development. Nowadays Chinese government should switch the focus to ensure social sustainability instead of pursuing rapid economic growth.
Moreover, Zhang introduced the breakthrough point of China’s future environmental management system and policy to the audience. According to her, this point is the recognition of environmental resources as an important asset, while also preserving even increasing the natural capital stock. This should be done by effectively defining environmental interests’ structure and implementing environmental policy within in the process of economic development. As its core she sees the integration of polluters’ pay, users’ pay and beneficiaries’ pay in a unity of environmental interests and obligations.
Finally, Zhang emphasized that the development of civil society has played an important role in environmental protection, as such society calls for action and responsibility of every citizen.
Written by: Mou Xintong
Edited by: Zhao Xiaowei, Armin Reinartz