Prosperity or health – does one have to choose? With massive industrialization and urbanization, China’s environment pays a heavy price. China’s most recent annual environmental report notes that three quarters of Chinese cities cannot meet the nation’s air quality standards, while the water quality of 60 percent of monitored groundwater wells is either “bad” or “very bad.” Ma Jun, this year’s Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellow and China’s foremost environmentalist, has been exposing these concerns for decades. An innovator, he has pioneered ways to share pollution data with the public and cooperate with international businesses – all while striving to bridge the gap between the government and the public. With the world turning to China for affordable and clean energy leadership, Ma will share his insider’s perspective on a blue – or grey – sky future for Beijing.
The Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellow on US-China Relations was established in 2012 to build Chicago-China institutional ties, advance dialogue between Chicagoans and Chinese experts, and enhance Chicago’s relevance and visibility with Chinese leaders.
Background reading and multimedia:
- Officials Feel Pinch in China's Sweeping Pollution Crackdown
Xinhua, September 12, 2017
- The Most Neglected Threat to Public Health in China is Toxic Soil
Economist, June 8, 2017
- How Climate Activist Ma Jun Went from China's Enemy to Ally
David McKenzie, CNN, February 19, 2017
- Social Innovators: Ma Jun (video)
Thompson Reuters Foundation, July 20, 2015