The market can be used to solve environmental problems, Daniel Dudek believes. And, at a time when China’s top leadership is talking about an ecological civilization, his idea resonates here.
“By now I have no doubt what is going to happen; it is really the question of details,” the vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund, a New York-based nonprofit organization, said of China’s green transformation.
Dudek, 69, has devoted himself to environmental work for more than 40 years. In 1979 he gained a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of California and worked in the United States Department of Agriculture among other places before joining the Environmental Defense Fund as a senior economist in 1986, to “bridge the gap between theory and practice”.
Dudek specializes in the reduction and control of atmospheric pollutants through the use of markets to control emissions from stationary and mobile sources.
From the 1990s Dudek and his organization worked with the then National Environmental Protection Agency in China and successfully carried out a trial emission trading system in seven locations in the country.
His organization has had close partnerships with other central government agencies, such as the National Development and Reform Commission, and regional governments.
“We try to help bring some of the lessons we have learned internationally to China and see how they can be productively deployed and developed with Chinese characteristics,” he said.
He witnessed positive changes in China’s environmental protection programs, in terms of government involvement, laws and policies, within a relatively short time, he said.
Dudek said he has observed a growing awareness of the environment among average Chinese.
But Dudek pointed out that it is a big challenge to achieve satisfying results for…