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Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages

ECM FilesThis multi-year, multi-sector study estimates the physical and economic cost of air and water pollution in China as reflected in the

  • - pollution-related disease burden,
  • - pollution-exacerbated water scarcity,
  • - wastewater irrigation,
  • - loss of fisheries,
  • - loss of crops, and
  • - material damage.

Building upon willingness-to-pay surveys for reducing health risks from pollution among households in Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities, the study finds that the health costs of air and water pollution in China amount to about 4.3 percent of its GDP. By adding the non-health impacts of pollution, which are estimated to be about 1.5 percent of GDP, the total cost of air and water pollution in China is about 5.8 percent of GDP. 

The burden of both air and water pollution is not distributed evenly across the country. For example, China’s poor are disproportionately affected by the environmental health burden and only six provinces bear 50 percent of the effects of acid rain in the country.

 Download the full report (5.8MB, pdf )

 Statement from World Bank China Country Director on "Cost of Pollution in China" Report



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