Another Problem with China’s Coal: Mercury in Rice

Noelle Eckley Selin and Sae Yun Kwon
The Conversation
Mercury enters rice through local industrial activities and through burning coal.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills More Than 100 in China This Year

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Gas poisonings in southern China have left at least 104 people dead and hundreds hospitalized.

China Is Winning Its War on Air Pollution, at Least in Beijing

Bloomberg
China is seeing signs of success in its fight against smog as pollution levels slump dramatically in the capital region Beijing.

China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions

Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman
New York Times
China released plans on Tuesday to start a giant market to trade credits for the right to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases. The nationwide market would initially cover only China’s vast, state-dominated power generation sector, which produced...

Trump’s Claim That West Virginia Is ‘Sending Clean Coal’ to ‘China’

Nicole Lewis
Washington Post
“If you look at what’s happened in West Virginia and so many different places, we’re sending clean coal. We’re sending it out to different places — China," Trump said last Tuesday...

Need Stretchy Pants? China's Energy Squeeze May Mean Higher Prices

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Homes, businesses and even hospitals across northern China are running short of natural gas. Some schoolchildren are shivering. And in the chemical industry — well, the spandex supply is getting tight.

China’s Drive for Cleaner Energy Is Causing a Gas Shortage for Winter

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China's push to clean up its environment may have had an unintended consequence: a shortage of heating fuel supply is hitting some regions in the dead of winter, sending prices of domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a three-year high...

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now)

Somini Sengupta
New York Times
Barely a month ago, in a landmark speech to the Communist Party Congress, President Xi Jinping of China promised that his country would take a “driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change.”

China Targets Pollution on Eve of Xi Jinping’s Second Term

Tom Hancock and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains.

China’s Putting the Brakes on Coal for Heating Millions of Homes This Winter

Echo Huang
Quartz
China might start to see better air this winter as it prepares to heat heat millions of houses for the first time by gas, and continues a clampdown on coal to battle its deadly pollution.

China’s War on Smog Shakes up Ports; Tianjin Loses, Rivals Benefit

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
China’s war on smog is shaking up the country’s busiest ports, which handle billions of tonnes of cargo a year, forcing Tianjin to overhaul its business as northern rivals snare a greater share of vast coal and iron ore shipments, results show.

Power of Love: China's Latest Arranged Match Rattles Utilities

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
Beijing announced its latest arranged marriage by matching the country’s top coal miner with one of its biggest utilities to create a global powerhouse worth $280 billion on China’s Valentine’s Day.

China Bans North Korea Iron, Lead, Coal Imports as Part of U.N. Sanctions

Washington Post
China announced a ban on imports of iron ore, iron, lead and coal from North Korea on Monday, increasing economic pressure on the Pyongyang regime while moving to implement a package of sanctions put together by the U.N. Security Council.

Conversation

08.10.17

Should China Support the U.S. in a War with North Korea?

Ryan Hass, Susan Shirk & more
On August 9, U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that if it does not stop threatening the United States, it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Just hours later, the...

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

CPEC: The Growing Resentment and Resistance among Poor Pakistanis Can Cost China Dearly

Quartz
In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar bilateral development project that will officials promised in 2015, “usher in an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity.”

Environment

06.30.17

Can the AIIB Support Asia’s Energy Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), headquartered in Beijing, held its second annual meeting on the Korean island of Jeju last week. Korea is currently positioning Jeju as a zero-carbon tourist destination, so the choice of location...

Coal on the Rise in China, US, India after Major 2016 Drop

ABC
The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change...

China’s Clean Energy Ambition Floats on Abandoned Coal Mine

Bloomberg
China’s ambitions to dominate new energy technologies are unfolding at the site of an abandoned coal mine about 300 miles (483 kilometers) northwest of Shanghai.

As China Pulls Trade from North Korea, Russia Gets Cozy with Kim Jong Un

USA Today
Trade between Russia and North Korea increased by 73% during the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the year before, boosted mostly by increased coal deliveries from Russia, according to Russian state-owned news site Sputnik.

China Is Getting Serious about Fighting Climate Change at Home. Abroad, Its Investments Tell a Different Story

Los Angeles Times
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has in recent years emerged as a global leader in climate action. The country’s use of coal — considered the single biggest contributor to anthropogenic climate change — has dropped every year since...

Environment

05.23.17

India and China Will Offset Trump’s Climate Backslide

from chinadialogue
With the U.S. likely to fall short of its Paris Agreement pledge to reduce carbon emissions, a new analysis released last week claims that overachievement by India and China will ensure progress on climate action is not stymied.The U.S., the world’s...

China Is Squeezing North Korea - but Not Too Hard

Jethro Mullen
CNN
China wields huge influence over the North Korean economy, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor’s foreign trade and serving as its main gateway to the rest of the world.

China Says Its Trade with North Korea Has Increased

Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang
New York Times
Amid sharply rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear arms program, China said on Thursday that its trade with the country had expanded, even though it had complied with United Nations sanctions and stopped buying North Korean coal

China Rejects North Korean Coal Shipments after Missile Test and U.S. Pressure

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Foreign Policy
China is turning back shipments of North Korean coal from its ports, a sign of Beijing’s growing concern over the nuclear weapons capability of its wayward neighbor.

Climate Change: China Calls U.S. ‘Selfish’ after Trump Seeks to Bring back Coal

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
State-run tabloid says Beijing cannot fill vacuum left by U.S. and urges west to pressure Trump on global warming

Trump Promises More Coal and Steel Jobs. China Is cutting 500,000

Jethro Mullen
CNN
As President Trump talked up his plans to help American coal and steel workers in his address to Congress, a top official thousands of miles away in Beijing was detailing China’s plans to cut half a million jobs in heavy industries this year.

China to Suspend All Imports of Coal from North Korea

Reuters
China will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea starting Feb. 19, the country’s commerce ministry said in a notice posted on its website on Saturday, as part of its efforts to implement United Nations sanctions against the country.

China Wants to Be a Climate Change Watchdog, but Can It Lead by Example?

Edward Wong
New York Times
Like some other nations, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has refused to accept international monitoring of its emissions and says it will provide data to outside observers.

Going Green in China, Where Climate Change Isn’t Considered a Hoax

Matthew Kahn
Salon
Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation's cities...

China is Outsourcing Its Pollution

Kara Sherwin
Foreign Policy
Beijing's diplomacy is increasingly green, but its international trade is getting ever more coal-black...

Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Desperate to deliver coal before power stations run out, China mobilizes trains and half-mile lines of trucks

China Risks Wasting $490 Billion on New Coal Plant, Say Campaigners

AFP
Guardian
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest

Conversation

11.21.16

Will China Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Sam Geall, Barbara A. Finamore & more
At a time when the world is looking to China and the United States, the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, to cooperate under the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015, will China now take the lead in fighting climate change?

All 33 Miners Trapped in China Coal Mine Found Dead

South China Morning Post
The State Administration of Work Safety ordered an investigation into the blast, adding that “those responsible must be strictly punished”

Search Continues for 20 Miners Missing After Blast in China

Camila Domonoske
NPR
35 miners were working at the privately-owned Jinshangou mine when the explosion happened Monday morning; two escaped alive, and 13 have been confirmed dead

China’s Coal Cap Will Bite

David Fickling
Bloomberg
Can the shift to more domestic output be met without blanketing China's cities in smog?...

China’s Coal Towns Are Literally Sinking

Scott Cendrowski
Fortune
Hundreds of thousands are being moved from regions made unsafe from coal companies.

Depth of Field

04.29.16

April’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Over the past few weeks, the publications Sina, Tencent, Caixin, China Youth Daily, and the publishing duo Sixth Tone/The Paper published photo stories on the intimate, the industrial, the private, and the political. Journalists Yan Cong and Ye Ming...

Environment

04.08.16

China Pulls Emergency Stop on Coal Power Construction

from chinadialogue
China’s central government has ordered local authorities to delay or cancel construction of new coal-fired power plants, as regulators attempt to reduce a glut in capacity, just one year after decisions were delegated to the provinces.The National...

Statistics From China Say Coal Consumption Continues to Drop

Edward Wong
New York Times
China released new statistics indicating less coal use last year than in 2014, lending support to the view that the country may have reached a peak in coal consumption.

Conversation

12.09.15

Is China a Leader or Laggard on Climate Change?

Isabel Hilton, Li Shuo & more
As ongoing climate talks wind down at COP21 this week, participants in and observers of the summit in Paris wrote in to share their assessment of the message coming from the official delegation from China, currently the world’s largest emitter of...

Green Space

12.08.15

Smog Strike Round II

Michael Zhao
Not surprisingly, smog yet again strikes back in much of China. Using the automatic weapon of our archive of daily photos of three of China’s major cities, I’d like to share a flashback of Beijing’s air quality throughout the month of November,...

China Plans to Upgrade Coal Plants

EDWARD WONG
New York Times
China's cabinet announced that it would try to cut pollution from coal-fired power plants by 60 percent by 2020 through upgrades to plants...

Putting China’s Coal Consumption Into Context

Qi Ye
Brookings Institution
Few issues are more likely to provoke interest about China.

Infographics

11.27.15

The Chinese Road to Paris 2015

Davide Vacatello & Valentina Caruso from Chinese Doodles
Beginning on November 30, Paris will host the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (COP21). Whatever progress is made toward the parties’ agreement on a path forward will depend in large...

Environment

08.21.15

Beijing Tells Mayors of Chinese Cities to Clean Up Their Air

from chinadialogue
In China, “APEC blue” was the sarcastic term used to refer to the unusually clear skies Beijing enjoyed when an Asia-Pacific leaders summit was in progress late last year.A similar phenomenon is now being seen in smaller Chinese cities, as mayors...

Environment

07.30.15

China’s Shift From Coal to Hydro Comes at a Heavy Price

from chinadialogue
As outlined in China’s national climate plan, submitted to the United Nations last month, the country’s aim to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or sooner will rely heavily on a shift from coal to use of non-fossil fuels.To many, that would seem...

China's Pollution Quagmire

Jeff McMahon
Forbes
China’s efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an expert on Chinese climate and energy policy said.

Environment

07.01.15

China Deepens Planned Cuts to Carbon Intensity

from chinadialogue
China has mapped out how it will try and peak greenhouse emissions by 2030 or before, details that could have a major bearing on U.N. climate talks aimed at delivering a deal in Paris later this year.The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases “...

A Flash Point in China-Africa Relations Re-Opens in Zambia

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When critics of the Chinese in Africa make their case, the Collum coal mine in Zambia is invariably on their list of grievances. The controversial mine has been the site of violent labor disputes that have severely injured, even killed, both...

Environment

04.24.15

Fracking May be Needed in China to Wean it Off Coal

from chinadialogue
Fracking of China’s huge shale gas reserves will only have a modest impact on the environment if anti-pollution controls—many of them new—are enforced rigorously, says a new report from the U.K.-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).The ODI...

Coal Boomtowns Fade as China Declares War on Pollution

Science
China is headed towards peak coal which means cities reliant on coal mining struggle.

Environment

03.19.15

World Coal Investments Increasingly Risky, Especially China’s

from chinadialogue
The investment case for coal-fired power is looking increasingly unconvincing, but more plants will need to be cancelled if the world is to avoid runaway climate change, a report published on Monday said.The report which was co-authored by green...

China’s Coal Use and Estimated CO2 Emissions Fell in 2014 

Huffington Post
Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project calculates that China's CO2 emissions have also fallen, by 0.7 percent, for the first time this century...

The Film That Is Going to Change China

peter Cai
Business Spectator
Chai Jing's stunning documentary on the smog problem was viewed more than 100 million times in little over two days...

Books

02.10.15

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs
Maverick environmental writers William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs follow up their acclaimed Smogtown with a provocative examination of China’s ecological calamity already imperiling a warming planet. Toxic smog most people figured was obsolete needlessly kills as many as died in the 9/11 attacks every day, while sometimes Grand Canyon-sized drifts of industrial particles aloft on the winds rain down ozone and waterway-poisoning mercury in America.In vivid, gonzo prose blending first-person reportage with exhaustive research and a sense of karma, Kelly and Jacobs describe China’s ancient love affair with coal, Bill Clinton’s blunders cutting free-trade deals enabling the U.S. to "export" manufacturing emissions to Asia in a shift that pilloried the West's middle class, Communist Party manipulation of eco-statistics, the horror of cancer villages, the deception of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and spellbinding peasant revolts against cancer-spreading plants involving thousands in mostly-censored melées. Ending with China’s monumental coal-bases decried by climatologists as a global warming dagger, The People's Republic of Chemicals names names and emphasizes humanity over bloodless statistics in a classic sure to ruffle feathers as an indictment of money as the real green that not even Al Gore can deny.   —Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book  {chop}

Caixin Media

11.24.14

At Factory Waste Ponds, Fumes Choke Fantasies

Deep in the Tengger Desert, near a community of cattle herders about 700 kilometers west of Beijing, pipes from a complex of coal processing and chemical factories once spewed slimy wastewater into six ponds.The "evaporation ponds" were...