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Gallup Poll: 57% of Chinese believe environmental protection should be their country’s top priority


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fifty-seven percent of Chinese adults surveyed in 2011 — before the country’s economic slowdown grabbed headlines — prioritized protecting the environment, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. About one in five believed economic growth is more important. Chinese attitudes are typical of those in other emerging-market economies, where residents sided with the environment over the economy in earlier surveys.

Economic growth vs. environment in BRIC countries

Similarly, Americans historically prioritized environment protection over economic growth from 1985 to 2008. However, economic growth has taken priority since the economic recession deepened in 2009. If China’s economic troubles worsen, residents’ attitudes could change too.

Among the 22% of Chinese who did not choose the environment or the economy, about half of them (12%) answered they don’t know. Those who did not have an opinion tended to be poor rural residents with no education beyond elementary school, perhaps indicating their lack of awareness about environmental issues. The 9% who answered neither tended to be wealthy urban residents with high education. For them, it might be a dilemma of choosing one over the other because both the economy and the environment are extremely important.

More Environmental Challenges Lie in Urban Areas

More than three in four (77%) Chinese are satisfied with current efforts to preserve the environment. Residents living in the urban areas, the hub of much of China’s industrial activity, however, are significantly less satisfied than their rural counterparts with these efforts, as well as the quality of the air and water where they live. With good reason: The World Health Organization finds air pollution in Shanghai and Beijing is double or even triple the severity it is in London or Los Angeles. Further, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection finds groundwater at 57% of its monitoring sites in cities is polluted or extremely polluted.

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/155102/Majority-Chinese-Prioritize-Environment-Economy.aspx

 

Just because it’s only 57% doesn’t mean it’s not a strong priority for the remaining 43%. A quick google search on some recent incidences:

– uhfaeiufheai

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