Tuesday , July 27 2021

Chinese migrants track Australian giant ecological footprints

Political debate on "Great Australia" reappeared in response to a high level of immigration, increasing congestion and high real estate prices in Sydney and Melbourne, where 90% of migrants are settled. In 2010, China moved the United Kingdom as the largest Australian source of permanent migrants (the country now occupied by India). Since then, migrants born in China have averaged about 15% of annual income. This is a significant contribution to the "Azization" of Sydney and Melbourne that Peter McDonald pointed out ten years ago.

In this context, our research focuses on the neglected dimension of environmental impact on the cities of population and immigration. Australian cities are the world's leading – in the worst sense – in terms of the size of their ecological foot, their use of resources and greenhouse gas emissions. We have found that the inhabitants of China have been born more than three times the average spending compared to the time they lived in China, even outperforming the consumption of Australian residents.

What did the study find?

We were interested in understanding the behavior of China's 21st century migration spending in China (measured by their ecological footprint) when they settled in Box Hill. This is the middle-aged Middle East ring in Melbourne with the highest population concentration in China. We compared their consumption with pre-migration printing (when we live in China) and those from cousins ​​born in Australia in the same suburbs.

Our findings are based on extensive face-to-face research of 61 Chinese born and 72 Australian cousins. The main findings were as follows.

Within decades of coming to Melbourne, urban consumption patterns in China were more than threefold consumption before migration. They even exceeded the level of consumption of other suburban residents. Their housing consumption was 5.4 times higher than when in China, food consumption was 4.7 times higher and carbon footprint 2.7 times higher.

This is partly due to higher income, population density in the city with the size of housing space and the cost of the highest in the world, and where the private car is the dominant mode of transport. But cultural influences are also in the game.

Figure 1 The Cald index difference between residents born in China and Australia suggests a strong cultural impact on consumption behavior. (Click to enlarge.) Ting, Newton and Stone (2018), The author is provided

It is obvious that consumer acculturation is the main process by which Chinese migrants came to the mirror of the host of society in Australia. Cultural integration is less evident – lags behind consumer acultures. This was clear from the comparison of the results in the Cultural and Language Difference Index (CALD).

The index has included measures of birthplace, English knowledge, religion, food preferences, parties and festivals, avenues of social interaction and engagement with neighboring communities. The difference between the points of birth of China and Australia on the CALD index was significant (see Figure 1). This suggests that a strong cultural impact on the behavior of urban consumption in the group born in China is likely.

Figure 2. Residents living in China in Melbourne usually have much larger living in all categories than they did in China. (Click to enlarge.) Ting, Newton and Stone (2018), The author is provided

Comparison of various components of ecological traces of Chinese and Australian cousins ​​also revealed. Housing stamps of size and type of flats occupied China's native population in the total order of 18%.

This may be due to the role of housing in reflection of the status achieved (hold-tzu, or "save the face") within the host society. The level of spending surpassing those of Australian residents points to the potential dangers of housing spending used to mark "successful" settlements in Australia.

Food records in China were 16% higher than in Australia. This has resulted in higher consumption of meat and dairy products and lower consumption of domestic vegetables.

Carbon footprints of Chinese born were 37% higher, mainly due to more frequent travel abroad.

Growing space on the planet

The global implications of these findings are potentially enormous. It is expected that the increase in incomes between the population of China will range from those in developed countries to free up new levels of urban spending, as this population wants to live in the urban environment in Australia and North America. However, in these countries, the city's rating of living closely related to ecological footprints is almost threefold compared to those in China.

Based on China's growing middle class growth rate and increased spending by China's high school households now living in Australia, an ecological footprint of the Chinese population of 1.4 billion can be expected to more than double in the next 10 years and 20 years. This has significant implications for planetary ecosystems and geopolitics.Conversation

Written by Peter Newton, Senior Adviser in Sustainable Urbanism, Center for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology; Christina Ting, Postdoctoral Scientist, Swinburne Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, and Wendy Stone, Associate Professor, Center for Urban Transition, Swinburne University of Technology. This member is re-released from Creative Commons License. Read the original article.

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