The city of Beijing is losing billions of yuan per year due to the effects of pollution, according to China’s national Bureau of Statistics.

Beijing is among the Chinese cities piloting a scheme to assess the impact of environmental damage on its GDP.

According to an audit, the city lost 11.7 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) in 2004 which amounts to almost 2% of its GDP.

The state-owned media puts the average cost of environmental damage for the whole nation at 3.05%.

Air pollution accounted for the lion’s share of Beijing’s problems, costing the city an estimated 9.5 billion yuan while water pollution was responsible for the rest.

Sam Bond

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