In Banning Ivory Trade, China Saw Benefits for Itself, Too

Confiscated ivory in Zhuhai, China, last year. The ban reinforced President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corrupt officials, who frequently use ivory products as bribes. Credit Imaginechina, via Associated Press

BEIJING — China’s vow to shut down its commercial ivory trade by the end of this year was welcomed by environmentalists as a turning point in the fight against poachers. Activists cheered the government’s pledge for swift action, and the state-run news media called it a “monumental win for Elephants.”

But in making the decision, announced on Friday, to bring the world’s largest ivory market to a halt, the Chinese government also saw benefits for itself. The ban reinforced President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corrupt officials, who have been known to use ivory products as bribes.

It galvanized support among African allies, which have long pressed Beijing to help curb poaching, as China looks to expand its influence on the continent.

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Climate and Air Pollution

 

Smog over Shanghai

Smog over Shanghai

Although the United States is one of largest contributors to global warming, it appears that we were late in the game for initiating changes towards energy efficiency. By 2015 however, there have made substantial gains in modernizing power plants, reducing dependency on foreign oil, fuel economy standards, and doubling wind, solar, and geothermal energy.  (The White House, 2015) Surprisingly though it was Japan, Europe, and Germany, who put forth the initial effort in energy efficiency and now it is time for the U.S. to do the same. (Turk and Bensel, 2014)       Continue reading