Since the mid 1990s, the Chinese government has attached increasing importance to urban environmental infrastructure (UEI) development, primarily in sewerage treatment and garbage disposal facilities, to overcome serious water pollution and solid waste pollution in urban areas. Financing methods have become central issues, as UEI requires large-scale initial investments. Other developing countries in Asia are also facing this problem.
This paper examines the challenges of UEI investment in China, including government financial limitations in financing UEI, and the expansion of possible roles for private finance initiatives (PFI) in UEI construction and operation. Through case studies of Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chongqing, possible roles and concrete model cases for PFI in UEI in China can be studied. Build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts for new treatment plants, concessions, and joint ventures are the three major types used to provide urban water and waste services in there.
This paper argues that the most beneficial method is to diversify financing sources for UEI investment through the development of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and presents legislation, preferential policies, and administrative and financial institutional support for PFI projects. Effective financial mechanisms using financial and tax measures, user charges, ODA and soft loans by multilateral financial agencies, foreign direct investment, and stocks, funds, and bonds to augment local financial capacities are also presented. The promotion of PFI in UEI construction and management is an important strategy for sustainable development in China to overcome the shortage of investment demand for UEI and improve the efficiency of investment, as well as develop the environmental industry, which in turn can contribute to the development of the economy.
As evidenced by many educational reforms carrying in their objectives a phrase of ‘improvement of equity and quality’, the last decade of the 20th century marked a shift in the central issue of basic education in Latin America from quality to both quality and equity. Likewise, an increasing number of Latin American education scholars and practitioners started to argue the need for the conceptual expansion from ‘equity in access’ to ‘equal quality of learning for all’ and ‘equity in learning results.’ Why was such change claimed necessary when the education systems in the region had long been characterized by high segregation and inequitable distribution of opportunities? The present paper explores the situation in which the term ‘equity in education’ turned into a primary concern and in which the expansion of the concept of equity came to encompass ‘equity in results.’ It also highlights strategy changes in basic education policies as the result of the new emphasis on equity, in particular, on equity in results.
Findings of the paper are as follows. First, a review of the regional education agenda over the years revealed that the term ‘equity’ appeared only from the early 1990s, coinciding with the time of the proposed expansion to ‘equity in results.’ Second, as the backdrop of the emphasis on equity was the growing concern that efficiency and competition, two thrusts of the neo-liberal policies that were fuelling education policies, might end up worsening the already serious problem of inequity. Empirical evidence from the field proved this skepticism to be well founded. The argument for more substantial equity in education was a persuasive one for governments wishing to sustain socio-economic growth, consolidate democracy, and ultimately create a knowledge-based society with social equity. As the result of the conceptual expansion, greater emphasis is now being placed on compensatory programs in basic education to boost the learning of the deprived, and on other programs tailored to meet the diversified needs of low performing schools.
Chinese “pollution levy system” has attracted international attention as an example of market based instruments for environmental policy in developing countries. On the other hand, this system does not give an incentive to the polluter to reduce the pollutant. However, “pollution levy system” has been changed to the environmental tax by the system reform in 1990s. Moreover, as the amounts of pollution decreases, the actual condition of the environmental quality may improve.
This research analyzes the policy effect, based on this change in “pollution levy system”. We analyze the effect of “pollution levy system,” in line with “effective pollution levy” index, and also for the regional differentials. The targeted pollutants are SOx, Dust, and COD. We explain the relationship between “effective pollution levy” and the pollution intensity by using multiple regression analysis of the Chinese regional data.
We get the results from the cross-section analysis, indicating that pollution intensity was low in the regions with higher rate for “effective pollution levy”. This analysis, by adapting panel data of eight years, proves that pollution intensity declines with the rise in “effective pollution levy”. It becomes clear from the above analysis that the active use of “pollution levy system” brings environmental improvement.
Emissions from the power generation sector in China, a major cause of local air pollution, acid rain as well as climate change, is a serious issue which needs to be addressed urgently.
Focusing on coal fired power generation, this paper reviews the current situation from the standpoint of climate change mitigation. It shows that in spite of the political difficulties involved, appropriate international cooperation for the transfer of more efficient coal-fired power generation technology to China is essential given the huge impact on global Co2 emissions and the unique energy structure in China.
It then analyzes barriers to the development, transfer and deployment of relevant technologies in China according to different technological levels. By comparing the experience of OECD countries with that of China and examining the problems associated with FDI to the sector, the paper points out that nearcommercial power generation technologies and advanced technologies face different sets of problems. Namely, while the main barriers to the former relate to Chinese domestic policy measures, those concerning the latter are the lack of international support to enable demonstration and further R&D of technologies.
The study further examines modalities and trends of international cooperation for the Chinese power generation sector to identify the issues which need to be tackled to solve the problems. Lessons learned from past efforts and the possible direction of future cooperation suggest that future efforts should be directed at these issues. These include intellectual contribution to improve Chinese domestic energy-environment policies, protection of property right and enforcement of the support for expensive import technologies, strengthening the support for transfer of advanced power generation technologies, utilization of CDM, and support measures based on comprehensive analysis.