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 “principal contradiction” facing Chinese society: “the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.” While the...

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 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

07.06.17

Industrial Energy Efficiency Can Improve Air Quality

from chinadialogue
Despite extensive efforts by the Chinese government to improve air quality, including the introduction of the State Council’s “Ten Measures” Action Plan and implementation of regional air quality control measures, air pollution recently worsened in...

Books

05.15.17

A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region’s most precious resources.In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to “purification”; it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger’s resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature. —Stanford University Press{chop}

Environment

04.06.17

As the U.S. Steps Back, China Must Step up on Climate Leadership

Joanna Lewis & Li Shuo from chinadialogue
Presidents Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet today at Mar-a Lago, Florida, and given the tense state of U.S.-China relations and the political leanings of the Trump administration there is much at stake for cooperation between the countries on the...

China Replaces Anti-Pollution Charges with Beefed Up ‘Green’ Tax

Wu Gang
China will start collecting environment protection taxes in 2018 to strengthen enforcement that authorities said local governments had interfered with

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

China Rises to Challenge of Battling Climate Change

Wang Tao & Yang Fuqiang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
With the U.S. leadership role in the fight against climate change now being called into question, China has found itself in the unique position of being a global leader of the cause. In this podcast, nonresident Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao...

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...

Through Climate Change Denial, We’re Ceding Global Leadership to China

Daniel Gardner
Los Angeles Times
Remember when China was the climate change outcast? What a difference a few years — and an election — can make

Viewpoint

11.22.16

Making China Great Again

Ann Carlson & Alex Wang
China loomed large in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the country of stealing American jobs and manipulating its currency for trade advantage. He famously tweeted that global warming was a concept created by the Chinese to “make U.S...

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?

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...

US and China Release Fossil Fuel Subsidy Peer Reviews

Karl Mathiesen
Guardian
With public assessment of their subsidies, China and the US take a big step on transparency, but inch forward on reform

Caixin Media

06.24.16

China Has a Plan to Clean Up Its Soil But No Way to Pay For It

The 231-clause, 13,000-Chinese character action plan for Soil Pollution Prevention and Control was released May 31 by the State Council, China’s cabinet, after undergoing some 50 draft revisions over the previous three years.The final version was...

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...

Environment

05.19.16

Clear as Mud: How Poor Data is Thwarting Water Clean-Up

from chinadialogue
China’s central and local governments have barely made a start in trying to clean up the country’s heavily polluted water, despite fast-approaching deadlines for improvements and the launch of a comprehensive “ten point plan” over a year ago.Behind...

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...

Sinica Podcast

01.27.16

Air Pollution and Climate Change

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Deborah Seligsohn, former science counselor for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and currently a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego, where she studies environmental...

Environment

12.10.15

Global Carbon Emissions May Stall in 2015

from chinadialogue
Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil, and gas as well as from industrial activities grew by just 0.6 percent in 2014, according to researchers from the Global Carbon Project of the organization Future Earth.The researchers say...

As U.S. and Europe Pass the Hat at Climate Talks, China Clings to Developing-Nation Status

KEITH BRADSHER and CORAL DAVENPORT
New York Times
This week, China is crying poverty.

Caixin Media

12.09.15

Progress for NGOs Battling Polluters in Court

Two environmental groups have become the first non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China to win a lawsuit that champions nationwide battles against polluters on behalf of the public. A court in Nanping, a city in the southeastern province of...

Why Pollution is Good for China

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
I am a member of a martial arts group that performs at annual temple fairs around Beijing. Half of our group are children, and almost without fail they meet at a park on the west side of town at around three in the afternoon to practice fighting...

Environment

10.30.15

China’s Stalk-Burning Clampdown Shows Limits of Command-and-Control

from chinadialogue
At the end of the National Day holiday earlier this month, Beijing bid farewell to weeks of relatively good air quality and experienced another episode of “Airpocalypse.” Levels of PM2.5, tiny pollution particles that are deemed particularly harmful...

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

04.01.15

Can Carbon Taxes be Good for China and the United States?

Antung Anthony Liu
Paulson Institute
One way that China may meaningfully control its emissions is through the recent idea of a national carbon permit trading system, building on its carbon permit pilot programs. In China’s case, the internal debate about promulgating these actions...

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...

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...

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...

Environment

08.13.14

Can a Pollution-Tracking App Kickstart Transparency?

from chinadialogue
It seems counter-intuitive that publicly available data needs grassroots activists to make it accessible. Yet, in a sea of regulations and information, official environmental information can be difficult to parse.The risk of information overload...

Infographics

06.20.14

The Problem with Chinese Gas Prices

from Sohu
Implementing higher fuel standards in order to reduce air pollution is a good thing. But the “Big Two” oil companies who control the petroleum industry—Sinopec and CNPC—should take responsibility for the increased cost. Consumers already pay huge...

Environment

01.31.14

Beijing Passes Law to Curb Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
China’s first legally binding regulations for reducing PM2.5 levels have been approved by Beijing’s municipal congress.Beijing’s annual average PM2.5 level currently stands at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter, far exceeding the 35-micrograms national...

Mass Slaughter of Vulnerable Shark Species in China, Wildlife Group Says

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
600 whale sharks are being slaughtered annually at a factory near Wenzhou for foreign and domestic use. 

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

from chinadialogue
From dead pigs in the Shanghai river to toxic smog in major cities, 2013 was a year of dramatic environmental stories in China. We asked some of our contributors for their predictions on how these and other stories are likely to develop in the...

Environment

08.07.13

China’s Abandoned Steel Mills Are a Threat to Public Health

from chinadialogue
China’s steel industry has been in trouble since 2011, with numerous bankruptcies nationwide. The city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been no exception. Though the city is Hebei’s biggest steel maker, with its 70 million tons of annual production...

Environment

07.24.13

Government-Backed NGO Under Pressure to Act Against China’s Largest Coal Miner

from chinadialogue
The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), a government-backed NGO, is being urged to take legal action against the Shenhua group, one of China’s largest energy companies and also a member of the ACEF.A subsidiary of the Shenhua group in Inner...

Environment

02.20.13

Air Quality in China: A Snapshot

Nearly five weeks ago, Beijing experienced its worst day of air quality on record: Levels of PM2.5—small particulates that can cause lung, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease—soared to more than thirty times the level considered safe by the...

Caixin Media

07.06.12

Fighting the Filth

Has the division of spoils from China’s rapid economic growth become a one-sided affair? The answer is less abstract when one considers the state of the nation’s environment.Waterways are barricaded by garbage, mountains gouged with dusty pits, and...

Reports

05.03.12

Sustainable Low Carbon City Development in China

Axel Baeumler, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, and Shomik Mehndiratta
World Bank
By embarking on a low-carbon growth path, China’s cities can help reach the country’s targets for reducing the energy and carbon intensity of its economy, and become more livable, efficient, competitive, and ultimately sustainable. Cities contribute...

Sinica Podcast

07.09.10

China’s Environmental Collapse

Kaiser Kuo, William Moss & more from Sinica Podcast
After the collapse of international climate change talks in Copenhagen in 2009, Mark Lynas’ devastating article, published in the Guardian, laid the blame squarely at China’s feet, accusing the Chinese government of deliberately scuttling American-...

Reports

06.30.10

Breaking the Ice on Environmental Open Information

Ma Jun, Wang Jingjing, Ruan Qingyuan, Shen Sunan, Wu Wei, Alex Wang, Hu Yuanqiong, Michael Zhang & Zhang Xiya
Natural Resources Defense Council
On May 1, 2008, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information and the Ministry of Environmental  Protection Measures on Open Environmental Information (trial) entered into effect. These regulations stand...

Reports

11.01.09

A Roadmap for U.S.-China Collaboration on Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Asia Society
The United States and China are the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters. Collaboration between the two nations, therefore, offers the greatest opportunity for achieving meaningful reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The time is...

Reports

10.01.07

The Impact of Regulatory Takings by the Chinese State on Rural Land Tenure and Property Rights

Li Ping
He Jianan
Landesa
With the realization of China’s rapid ecological deterioration, partly caused by irresponsible logging, the Chinese government has in recent years taken a series of drastic measures to improve forest coverage. One important approach was to declare...