Environment

10.03.18

The Anti-Corruption Campaign Takes on the War on Pollution

Julia Bowie
At last year’s 19th Party Congress, Xi Jinping vowed to confront the “principle contradiction” facing Chinese society: “the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” While the...

Conversation

08.07.18

We’re a Long Way from 2008

Kate Merkel-Hess, Maura Cunningham & more
On August 8, 2008, China’s then Chairman Hu Jintao told a group of world leaders visiting Beijing to attend the Olympics that “the historic moment we have long awaited is arriving.” Indeed, awarding the Games to China in 2001 sparked a fierce debate...

China Moves to Protect Coastal Wetlands Used by Migratory Birds

Erik Stokstad
Science
China has armored its coastline over the past several decades, building sea walls and turning more than half of its marine wetlands into solid ground for development.

Hong Kong Drowning in Waste as China Rubbish Ban Takes Toll

Farah Master
Reuters
Hong Kong boasts glittering skyscrapers, seamless transportation and billion dollar infrastructure projects, but it is struggling with a much more mundane problem: disposing of its trash.

Viewpoint

12.14.17

Can Environmental Lawsuits in China Succeed?

Stanley Lubman
Air and water pollution are rising in China, and so is the number of lawsuits against polluters. Access to the courts is growing: Chinese prosecutors and some NGOs have been empowered to sue polluters, and activist lawyers increasingly participate...

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.”

While U.S. Moves toward Coal, China Bets Big on Solar

Ben Tracy
CBS News
In southern China, the country flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar installation - built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now...

China Sees Difficulty Meeting 2017 Air Quality Targets: Minister

China faces difficulties in meeting its smog-fighting target for 2017, its environmental protection minister said during a visit to four heavily industrialized provinces in northern China, where the country’s air pollution problem is especially...

BYD Predicts Ambitious China Shift to Electric Cars by 2030

David Stanway
Reuters
All vehicles in the country will be “electrified” by 2030, which could range from full electric cars to mild hybrids, Chinese automaker BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said on Thursday. BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, has already invested heavily in the...

China Says Economy Unaffected by Environmental Inspections

South China Morning Post
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said that recent environmental inspections did not hurt the country’s economy and blamed some ”inappropriate methods” conducted by local authorities for causing short–term market dislocation.

Environment

07.25.17

China Enters the Garden of Eden

from chinadialogue
Built on the site of an abandoned clay pit, the Eden Project has never been short of grand vision.Its iconic biomes house the world’s largest captive rainforest and have become a landmark of the local Cornish countryside. Since opening 16 years ago...

Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules

Edward Wong
New York Times
Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that nearly 14,000 companies, or 70 percent of the businesses they examined, failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution.

Viewpoint

06.08.17

Can China Really Lead the World on Climate?

Isabel Hilton
On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, found himself, not for the first time, with more in common with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with the president of his own nation, Donald Trump. Just days after President Trump announced...

China Poised to Take Lead on Climate After Trump’s Move to Undo Policies

Edward Wong
New York Times
President Trump’s signing of an executive order on Tuesday aimed at undoing many of the Obama administration’s climate change policies flips the roles of the two powers.

Good News for Africa’s Elephants: China Is Losing Its Taste for Ivory

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China will close 67 ivory carving factories and retail shops on Friday, roughly one-third of the total, as it moves to implement a pledge to end all domestic ivory sales by the end of the year.

As Attitudes Change, Chinese Lawmakers Seek Better Protection for Rhinos and Other Endangered Animals

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Slowly but surely, Chinese attitudes toward wildlife conservation are changing.

The Burning Problem of China’s Garbage

NPR
Trash is piling up in China—more than 520,000 tons a day

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

Reports

02.07.17

U.S. Policy Toward China

Orville Schell and Susan L. Shirk
Asia Society
The Task Force on U.S.-China Policy generated the following report and set of recommendations to assist the 45th U.S. presidential administration in formulating a China strategy that will protect and further U.S. national interests. This report...

Film Review: ‘Plastic China’

Dennis Harvey
Variety
Life in one Chinese town is entirely dedicated to recycling of First World waste in Jiu-liang Wang’s documentary.

Smog May be Easing, but in Parts of China Water Quality Worsens

David Stanway and Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Despite commitments to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in China's rivers, lakes and reservoirs in several regions has deteriorated significantly...

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

Environment

11.11.16

Trump Presidency May Spell Disaster for Climate

from chinadialogue
The election of Donald Trump may prove a disaster for the climate and especially for climate change negotiations if he sticks to the threats made during his campaign. But it may provide the developing world—especially China—with an opportunity to...

In a Rare Move, China Criticizes Trump Plan to Exit Climate Change Pact

Suelin Wong
Reuters
"I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends," China's veteran climate chief said...

Environment

10.25.16

China is Demanding Cleaner Shipping—So Should the Rest of the World

Barbara A. Finamore from chinadialogue
Last year, in response to growing awareness of severe air pollution problems in China’s coastal cities, the Chinese government adopted a ground-breaking program to cut pollution from ships. At its core is a commitment to reduce the sulfur content of...

America’s Best Idea May Now Be China’s Too, as It Expands It’s National Park System

Jessica Meyers
Los Angeles Times
With U.S. guidance, China is launching a pilot project that spans nine provinces

Meet Pizza, the World’s Saddest Polar Bear

Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
Pizza is just one of thousands of “wild” animals languishing in China's malls...

Environment

09.15.16

A Chinese Train Could Link South America’s Atlantic and Pacific Coasts by Rail for the First Time

from chinadialogue
Official bodies from Brazil and Peru have expressed concern about the social and environmental impacts of the proposed interoceanic railway, which will connect the coast of Peru and Brazil, cutting through 621 miles of pristine rainforest.In a...

Environment

08.29.16

Environmental Law Blunted by Crippling Court Costs

from chinadialogue
Zhenhua Ltd. is a glass-making firm based in Dezhou, a city in China’s northeastern Shandong province. The factory sits amid a cluster of modern residential areas, so when the company failed to limit its emissions of polluted air and dust into the...

China Pledges to Cut Size of Its Massive Fishing Fleet Due to Serious Threat to Nation’s Fish Stocks

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
The government said there were practically “no fish” in the coastal East China Sea.

Environment

08.11.16

China-Led Development Bank Careful to Cooperate with Critics

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB) unveiled its initial batch of projects at its first annual meeting in Beijing in June, giving the go-ahead to investments totaling U.S.$509 million (3.4 billion yuan) and providing an important...

China Sets Up South China Sea Environment Protection Fund

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The funds would initially be spent on exploring the world's deepest underwater sinkhole...

Greenpeace Warns Over China’s Excess Power Capacity

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Overcapacity is dogging swathes of Chinese industry, including steel and petrochemicals, stifling profitability and damaging the environment.

Books

06.22.16

Tibetan Environmentalists in China

Liu Jianqiang
This book weaves together the life stories of five extraordinary contemporary Tibetans involved in environmental protection (as well as a host of secondary characters): Tashi Dorje, a well-known and celebrated environmentalist; Karma Samdrup, a philanthropist, businessman, and environmentalist; Rinchen Samdrup, Karma’s brother, another extraordinary environmentalist; Gendun, a painter, historian, and researcher from Amdo; and Musuo, a Tibetan from the Dechin area of northwest Yunnan who founded the Khawakarpo Culture Society.In the politically fraught and ever-worsening situation for Tibetans within China today, it is often said that the only possible path for a better solution will be through a change in the way that the majority Chinese society thinks about and understands Tibetans, their aspirations, histories, and desires. This book provides the first such account by drawing readers in with beautiful narrative prose and fascinating stories, and then using their attention to demystify Tibetans, cultivating in the reader a sense of empathy as well as facts upon which to rebuild an intercultural understanding. It is the first work that seriously aims to let the Chinese public understand Tibetans as both products of an admirable culture and as complex individuals negotiating religious ideals, economic change, and sociopolitical constraints. In short it opens up a whole new way of understanding Tibet. —Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books {chop}

Environment

06.16.16

Can Cement Clean Up Its Act?

from chinadialogue
Cement is the most widely used substance on the planet after water. It is also one of the most polluting—producing between 5-8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than twice that attributed to aviation. Cement’s carbon footprint...

Conversation

03.11.16

Is China Doing Enough for the Environment?

Deborah Seligsohn, Angel Hsu & more
This week, at their biggest annual session in Beijing, Chinese lawmakers are expected to ratify the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which contains many new measures to address rampant pollution of the country’s air, soil, and water. Will the plan be...

Environment

03.10.16

How China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment

Deborah Seligsohn & Angel Hsu
For the first time ever, a senior Chinese leader announced in his work report to the National People’s Congress—his most important formal speech of the year—that environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be “severely...

Environment

02.22.16

China’s Wind Power Overtakes the E.U.

from chinadialogue
China has overtaken Europe to become the world’s biggest producer of wind power after its domestic sector grew by 60 percent last year.Following a government-backed drive to build new wind farms, China’s installed capacity now totals 145.1 GW,...

The Return of China's Environmental Avenger

Elizabeth Economy
Diplomat
Pan Yue, China’s most outspoken, innovative, and articulate environmental official, is back in action.

Environment

09.11.15

Beijing Slams Henan Capital for Using Scarce Fresh Water to Combat Smog

Officials in the city of Zhengzhou are under central government scrutiny after media reports revealed the capital of Henan province is using valuable fresh water supplies to combat air pollution. Scientists and academics have criticised...

Environment

08.05.15

High-Ranking Retired Environmental Protection Official Mired in Corruption Probe

from chinadialogue
Retired Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) Vice Minister Zhang Lijun has run afoul of the ongoing corruption crackdown, becoming the highest-ranking environmental official yet to be investigated.On Thursday, China’s anti-corruption watchdog...

Environment

07.22.15

China, Both Major Cause of and Potential Solution to Illegal Logging

from chinadialogue
China is now the world’s largest importer and consumer of wood-based products. Its booming domestic market is the main driver of growth in imports, though the country is also now the world’s most important timber-processing hub. In 2013, China’s...

Reports

06.08.15

China’s “New Normal”: Structural Change, Better Growth, and Peak Emissions

Fergus Green and Nicholas Stern
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
China has grown rapidly—often at double-digit rates—for more than three decades by following a strategy of high investment, strong export orientation, and energy-intensive manufacturing. While this growth lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty,...

Caixin Media

06.04.15

China Uses Drones to Monitor Pollution Problems from Above

China’s environmental regulators want to increase the use of drones watching pollution levels, supplementing the existing monitoring system.In the central city of Wuhan, drones were sent to urban areas to inspect emissions from chimneys that are...

Environment

03.11.15

China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices

from chinadialogue
China’s push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost. Ecosystems in what should be one of the country’s most fertile regions have already been...

Environment

03.04.15

Clearing Skies

Adam Minter from Sierra Club
After dark is when the pollution arrives on the outskirts of Shanghai. On a bright night, when moonlight refracts through the smog, you can see black clouds of soot pouring out of small workshop smokestacks silhouetted against the sky. In case you...

Reports

03.04.15

A Vital Partnership

Asia Society
As the two largest global emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States share the challenge of transforming each of their current fossil fuel–based energy systems into clean twenty-first-century energy systems that remain cornerstones of...

Caixin Media

03.03.15

Can Market Mechanisms Clear China’s Air?

The Chinese government recently responded to rising public discontent over environmental degradation by introducing tougher rules for industrial emissions.Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization and a state-run newspaper are coordinating a...

Excerpts

02.25.15

The Sun Kings

Mark L. Clifford
In 1992, Shi Zhengrong completed his doctorate and found himself an expert in a field that wasn’t quite ready for him. He’d studied physics at Australia’s University of New South Wales, focusing on crystalline technology, the basic scientific...

Reports

02.25.15

Double Impact

Valerie J. Karplus
Paulson Institute
This paper makes the case for establishing a national CO2 price in China as soon as possible. End-of-pipe pollution control technologies—a core component of China’s Air Pollution Action Plan (APAP)—can address local air pollution but not CO2...

Reports

02.11.15

It’s Time to Peak

Ecofys
World Wildlife
Without additional efforts, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will continue to increase by 3.7 – 4.8 °C, a level well beyond the 2 °C temperature rise limit widely agreed among scientists and governments across the world as a limit above which...

Environment

01.28.15

China to Appoint Academic as New Environment Minister

from chinadialogue
The head of Beijing’s Tsinghua University is likely to be appointed to the top environmental job in in China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, according to reports, as the country’s leadership moves to defuse public anger about worsening air,...

Environment

01.23.15

China’s Air Pollution: The Tipping Point

Michael Zhao
Last November, Beijing saw a stretch of solidly clear skies and the Chinese media coined a phrase to describe them: APEC blue. After the diplomats and businesspeople gathered in China’s capital for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum...

In Step to Lower Carbon Emissions, China Will Place a Limit on Coal Use in 2020

Edward Wong
New York Times
In theory, coal consumption might increase beyond 2020, but some researchers say economic trends show the rate of growth in coal use slowing in coming years and peaking about 2020.

In China, Even Creating a Pollution Tracking App Is a Risky Business

Steven Millward
Tech in Asia
It was mid-October 2011, and the air quality in Beijing was quite bad, as you may imagine. It came to my mind that if we could check the air quality on our phones and receive pollution notifications, that would be quite helpful and handy. After some...

Environment

11.18.14

Four Reasons Why the U.S.-China Climate Statement Matters

from chinadialogue
The joint U.S.-China statement on climate change is both inspiring and historic. The two parties have sought common ground, set aside their differences, and put global interests first—as responsible great powers should.The agreement will have four...

Media

11.14.14

Why Is Beijing Downplaying the Supposedly Huge Climate Change Deal?

Alexa Olesen
The United States has been using some frothy language to describe its joint statement with China on forestalling climate change. In a breathless New York Times editorial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as "something of great...

Environment

11.11.14

China Reforms National Parks to Improve Environmental Protection

from chinadialogue
China’s central government is reforming the way major tourist attractions are run. It plans to create a unified national parks management system in a bid to halt environmental damage within its protected areas. The new, unified system will cut...

Unable to Clean Air Completely for Apec, China Resorts to Blocking Data

Simon Denyer and Xu Yangjingjing
Washington Post
China has made a gargantuan effort to clear Beijing’s smoggy air for an important regional summit this week, closing hundreds of factories and forcing cars off the road, but its efforts have only been partially successful.

Environment

11.07.14

China’s EIA Industry Rife with Fraud

from chinadialogue
A farce played out at an environmental impact assessment (EIA) firm in the southern city of Shenzhen when inspectors called round in early October, this year.The firm had applied to renew its license to carry out EIAs—reports that are supposed to...