David Dollar has served as the World Bank's China Director and is currently the U.S. Treasury Department's Economic and Financial Emissary to China.
Before this assignment, Mr. Dollar worked as Director for the development research department of the World Bank, overseeing the Bank’s research on the investment climate and growth. He co-authored the recent World Bank reports Globalization, Growth, and Poverty and Assessing Aid. His earlier work focused on aid and growth, and the determinants of the success and failure of reform programs supported by structural adjustment lending. He has been a key World Bank spokesperson on investment climate, globalization, and the effectiveness of aid.
He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a B.A. in Chinese history and language from Dartmouth College.
David Dollar: I'm cautiously optimistic because for some of these issues we see clear improvement. In the southern half of the country, the quality of water is improved and the air pollution has declined pretty significantly. I think an interesting issue in China is that there's a pretty growing north/south dichotomy. We don't see much improvement in water pollution in the northern half of the country. We don't see much improvement in air pollution in the northern half of the country. It has almost half the population, so it's part of the country. But in the south we definitely see improvement in those key environmental indicators. China has emerged as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It just surpassed the United States according to some estimates. That might be debatable, but within a year or two there's no question China will be the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. So the government has set a very ambitious target for increasing energy efficiency, which would tend to reduce the emissions relative to the path if you don't improve energy efficiency. It's gonna be a big challenge to meet those targets. So I am cautiously optimistic because I see the government taking some measures, and setting some targets that are in the right direction; but I don't see all the measures in place that would really be needed to move aggressively on that environmental agenda.
Recorded on: 7/3/07