KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee environmental policy specialist is helping one of the world’s most rapidly developing nations reduce pollution and combat global warming.
Dr. Milton Russell is scheduled to be in China Nov. 5-24 to help Chinese officials tackle environmental problems caused by burgeoning economic growth.
Russell seeks to help implement a new program to greatly increase fines levied on industries that exceed emissions limits.
“This program will double, triple, or even quadruple taxes for manufacturers which emit socially undesirable pollutants,” Russell said. “It could be of great environmental and economic benefit to both China and the world.”
Environmental policy plans Russell helped establish have resulted in upgrading or closing 70,000 Chinese firms in the last year that did not meet pollution requirements, he said.
“China is making a lot of progress in environmental laws,” Russell said. “This demonstrates that they are serious about dealing with pollution.”
With a quarter of the world’s people and an economy expected to exceed U.S. production in 20 years, China plays a large role in global climate conditions, Russell said.
Russell has traveled to China extensively. He was adviser on Chinese environmental affairs to former U.S. Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary in 1995.
A paper he co-authored on ways countries can reduce pollution was presented recently at an international conference on global warming.
Russell, professor emeritus of economics at UT-Knoxville, is a researcher for the Joint Institute for Energy and Environment sponsored by UT, Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
His trip is sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute, Resources for the Future, and the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency.
Contact: Dr. Milton Russell (423-974-3939)