Developing burden

A research paper brings out the dangers of increasing use of private capital in the developing countries

Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

Hilary F French, vice-president for Research at the World Watch Institute in Washington DC has authored a research paper where she says that transportation and automobile industries are an example of the spread of hazardous manufacturing processes spurred on by international investment This, in turn, increases the demand in the developing world for products that typify the wasteful consumer societies of the North.

These companies are expanding into "emerging markets" of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and if current projections hold, three fourths of the auto factories will be built in these countries.

In the recent past India has seen the arrival of nine of the world's most important auto manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Fiat and Daewoo. These companies practice auto-centric transportation systems along the lines on the US leading to grave consequences for local air pollution and food security in addition to global climate change.

Three years ago, Beijing decided that the automobile industry would be one of its basic growth industries over the next few decades. If China continues along this path, and if car ownership and oil use per person were to reach US levels, the Chinese would burn around 80 million barrels of oil per day, well beyond the current daily world production of 64 million barrels.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.