The “advantage of latecomer” in abating air-pollution: the East Asian experience
Purpose – Aims to focus on air pollution as one of the environmental problems that tends to improve at higher income levels. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a combination of narrative with argument and analysis. Findings – Between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s, air pollution in Japan, in particular that caused by sulfur dioxide (SO2), was reduced to a remarkable degree. This reduction resulted from responses to mounting civil protest: governmental regulation policy on the one hand, and innovation of abatement technology and energy efficiency on the other. In large Southeast Asian cities, despite rapid economic growth, air pollution is less severe than it was in Japan in the early 1970s. This is because both government and industry in Southeast Asia took early initiatives to prevent environmental degradation, learning from the experiences of developed countries. Originality/value – The conclusions drawn help in understanding the prerequisites for reducing CO2 emissions. If developed countries actually succeed in creating abatement technology for CO2, this will surely affect the development policy in developing countries.
Air pollution, East Asia, Environmental management
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