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China

Evaluating the relative environmental impact of countries

Source: JournalistsResource.org

Just as nations have different levels of population, industrial and agricultural production, income and education, so they have varied environmental impacts. Such impacts aren’t stable over time: Countries’ use of resources and generation of wastes often rises as production grows, then may fall as cleaner technologies and better environmental practices come into use. While this trend has been theorized, empirical evidence has been mixed.