breadcrumb

  • Reporting & Opinion
  • Environment
Page View

Environment

08.13.14

Can a Pollution-Tracking App Kickstart Transparency?

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 looms especially large in China,...

Environment

08.12.14

China Grows An Interest in Organic Foods

MICHAEL ZHAO

Late last month, news broke that a major Chinese supplier of American fast food brands was peddling meat that violated food safety standards.How do such scandals affect the way people in China feed themselves and their families? Chang Tianle, a former researcher and China Program...

Environment

08.07.14

What to Do About China’s Polluted Farmland?

CHINADIALOGUE & CAIXIN

While the extent of China's soil pollution crisis is becoming clearer, the consensus on what to do next is still lacking.The results of the state soil survey earlier this year were damning: 16.1% of sampling points nationwide were in breach of soil quality standards, with...

Environment

07.23.14

Moving a Mountain, of Trash

CHINADIALOGUE

On July 1, tough new standards for pollution from waste incinerators came into effect. The move is an attempt to end the conflict between communities across China and the nearby rubbish-burning plants they believe threaten their health and house prices. But experts on both sides...

Environment

07.17.14

China Faces Long Battle to Clean Polluted Soil

CHINADIALOGUE

This is the third of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360 with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts one and two.Luo Jinzhi is 52 and lives in the village of Shuangqiao, in...

Environment

07.10.14

U.S.-China Climate Cooperation More Crucial Than Ever

CHINADIALOGUE

As the governments of the United States and China meet in Beijing this week for the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), one area worth watching closely is clean energy and climate change cooperation. While this topic may seem to have fallen off the top of...

Environment

07.03.14

The Victims of China’s Soil Pollution Crisis

CHINADIALOGUE

This is the first of a special three-part series of investigations jointly run by chinadialogue and Yale Environment 360, with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. You can also read parts two and three.When Zhang Junwei’s uncle died in February 2012, he was...

Environment

06.27.14

Germany’s Renewables Paradox a Warning Sign for China

CHINADIALOGUE

From the hay field behind his house, Gunter Jurischka points out the solar panels glittering from the town’s rooftops and the towering wind turbines spinning lazily on the horizon.Thanks to Germany’s now famous Energiewende (or “energy transition”) program, this tiny...

Environment

06.19.14

What China Should Say at the U.N. Climate Change Summit

CHINADIALOGUE

With a little more than 100 days to go, countries are gearing up for Ban Ki-moon’s New York climate summit, the first climate convention of world leaders since Copenhagen and a meeting that aims to catalyze new commitments and mobilize political will.

It will also be the...

Environment

05.07.14

Why China Will Fight for a Global Climate Deal Next...

CHINADIALOGUE

China is now the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and so the world will pay close attention to its stance at next year’s climate negotiations in Paris, as well as to the kinds of actions it takes to tackle climate change post-2020.Despite the fact that China has...

Environment

04.30.14

China’s Environmental Law Good on Paper

CHINADIALOGUE

China’s environmental protection law, which stirred great controversy during its amendment process, has finally been passed. The updated law makes significant progress in the area of public interest litigation and strengthens the legislative tools to punish polluters. But it...

Environment

04.24.14

Almost One-Fifth of China’s Arable Land is Polluted

CHINADIALOGUE

Almost one-fifth of China’s arable land is polluted to various degrees, according to a national soil quality report on April 17.The report, based on seven-years’ worth of tests on 6.3 million square kilometers (2.4 million square miles) of land, also found that sixteen...

Environment

04.16.14

Ten Steps to Cleaner Air in China’s Cities

CHINADIALOGUE

Earlier this year, former San Francisco planning advisor Eugene Leong looked at the legacy of air pollution in San Francisco. Here he draws out ten key policy lessons for China's leadership.Recognize PM2.5 pollution as a complex problem that needs long-term solutions.There are...

Environment

03.27.14

Climate Change Darkens Life in China

CHINADIALOGUE

Asia faces a worsening water crisis, according to a leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).Water demand from rising populations and living standards, and poor management—in addition to climate change—will increase the scarcity of freshwater...

Environment

03.19.14

Is China Underfunding its ‘War on Pollution’?

CHINADIALOGUE

China’s environmental spending showed a year-on-year drop of almost ten percent in 2013, according to the budget report delivered at China’s annual parliamentary gathering.Despite premier Li Keqiang’s vow to declare “war on pollution”, the 2013 report shows that China...

Environment

02.20.14

Pollution Tax Suggested for Wealthy Chinese Fleeing for...

CHINADIALOGUE

Environmental problems have become an important factor causing the rich to leave China—but one academic has now suggested that they should first pay an environmental levy. Chen Guoen, a professor at Wuhan University, said that some Western investment-for-citizenship schemes are...

Environment

02.12.14

China Unlikely to Reduce Coal Use in the Next Decade

CHINADIALOGUE

Coal will account for no less than sixty percent of China’s total energy use in the next decade, said Zheng Xinye, an energy economist at Renmin University. Currently, coal accounts for seventy percent of China’s total energy consumption. The Chinese leadership vowed to...

Environment

02.05.14

China’s Future Energy Security Will Depend on Water

CHINADIALOGUE

When we think about water use we think about the water we drink, but we also need water to grow food, generate electricity, make our clothes, and extract minerals. In short, water drives the economy. In China, ninety-seven percent of electricity generated requires water to...

Environment

01.31.14

Beijing Passes Law to Curb Air Pollution

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 standard. Officials have...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

CHINADIALOGUE

More than 170 cities in China have now joined a real-time air quality disclosure scheme, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Launched in 2012, more than sixty cities had started publishing data from their monitoring stations by the end of that year. By January 2...

Environment

01.15.14

Why Low-Carbon Innovation Matters

CHINADIALOGUE

It came as little surprise when Beijing’s environmental authorities reported in early January last year that the capital’s levels of PM2.5 (a measure of air pollution) were more than double the national standard. The past year saw no end to the smog; nor did 2013 see an end...

Environment

01.08.14

The Drying Up of China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

CHINADIALOGUE

When Jiang Minsheng moored his fishing boat on the eastern shore of Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake in November last year, he didn’t expect to it to be marooned. The fisherman’s village is on an island in the middle of the freshwater lake, once China’s largest. But Jiang was caught...

Environment

12.23.13

Project to Save South China Tigers in South Africa Lost...

CHINADIALOGUE

The Laohu Valley Reserve sits on a rolling plain about 200 kilometers from Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judicial capital. In September 2003, two South China tigers were sent to the reserve from a Chinese zoo. What began as an effort to save the species from the brink of...

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

CHINADIALOGUE & ISABEL HILTON

After nearly three decades of rapid urbanization, China’s official and unofficial city dwellers outnumber its farmers. More than 400 million people have already moved into cities in the past thirty years, and in 2011 China crossed the threshold of a predominantly urban society...

Environment

01.03.14

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014

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 coming yearLi Bingqin, Associate...

Environment

12.18.13

Fines Won’t Solve China’s Smog Problem

CHINADIALOGUE

Eight municipal governments in northeast Liaoning province have together received 54.2 million yuan (U.S.$8.9 million) in fines for failing to reach air quality standards—the first time a provincial government has imposed financial penalties on lower-level governments for...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

CHINADIALOGUE

In September, an unusual environmental organization was launched in one of the most ancient and significant sites in China—the Songyang Academy, Dengfeng, Henan. Founded in the eleventh century AD, this was one of the four Confucian Academies of China. The site was originally...

Environment

09.18.13

Are the U.S. and China Finally Getting Serious about...

JUNJIE ZHANG

At the recent G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping announced that they would seek to eliminate potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the landmark treaty that successfully phased out ozone-depleting substances...

Environment

08.29.13

Beijing Water Shortage Worse Than the Middle East

CHINADIALOGUE

Beijing’s annual water consumption has reached 3.6 billion cubic meters, according to statistics released by the Beijing Water Authority, far more than the 2.1 billion cubic meters locally available.The per capita annual water availability is now around 120 cubic meters, well...

Environment

08.14.13

Beijing’s Neighbors Hesitate at Pollution Cuts

CHINADIALOGUE

The recent announcement of plans to lower air pollution levels in the next five years are far greater than any proposed before, some being several times tougher than those included in the Twelfth Five Year Plan (FYP) period, which was only finalized in 2012.However, while Beijing...

Environment

08.07.13

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

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 accounting for almost half...

Environment

07.25.13

Comment: Polluters Shouldn’t Be the Judge of Other...

CHINADIALOGUE

If the law sets a criminal to catch other criminals what do you think those criminals will think? My colleagues have discovered that new legislation threatens to do just that.A new draft revision of the Environmental Protection Law is now online for public comment. The draft...

Environment

07.24.13

Government-Backed NGO Under Pressure to Act Against...

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 Mongolia has reportedly been...

Environment

06.20.13

China’s GM Soybean Imports Stir Up Controversy

CHINADIALOGUE

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, has been awash with criticisms of the Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to green light imports of three more strains of genetically modified (GM) soybeans. A picture of mice with swollen bodies which was said...

Environment

06.06.13

Wuxi-Düsseldorf and the Challenge of Green City...

CHINADIALOGUE

At first glance, it isn’t an obvious pairing. Düsseldorf is the fashion and advertising capital of Germany. Wuxi is a fast-growing industrial city on China’s east coast, with probably more coal plants than catwalks. But a German environmental think-tank has linked the two...

Environment

07.18.13

Chinese Nuclear Versus Chinese Renewables

CHINADIALOGUE

Germany’s Energy transition (‘Energiewende’) has been much feted, but when it comes to energy and climate-change policy, China is the country to watch. Its burgeoning economy and voracious appetite for coal-fired power make it the world’s biggest source of greenhouse...

Environment

07.16.13

Local Officials in North China Quit Smoking to Fight...

CHINADIALOGUE

If you are planning to quit smoking, here is another reason to do so—it can fight air pollution, at least according to local officials in China’s northern Hebei Province.Officials in Cangzhou city, Hebei vowed to quit smoking in front of a mass rally this week, claiming the...

Environment

07.08.13

The Water Challenge Facing China’s Coal and Power...

CHINADIALOGUE

It is an inescapable truth that China needs coal—and that coal needs water. The coal industry, from mining to power generation and coal-to-chemicals, accounts for one-sixth of China’s water withdrawals. This is not sustainable and in some areas coal mining is already...

Environment

05.30.13

China’s “NIMBY” Protests: Sign of Unequal Society

CHINADIALOGUE

NIMBY—or “not in my backyard”—protests happen when residents attempt to protect their neighborhoods from the negative impacts of public or industrial facilities. Since the 2007 “walking protests” against a PX chemical factory in Xiamen, we have seen a halt called to...

Environment

05.28.13

How China Can Kick-start Carbon Capture and Storage

CHINADIALOGUE

China’s estimated total carbon dioxide emissions reached 25 percent of global emissions in 2011 and they continue to grow rapidly—so rapidly, in fact, that the increase in China’s emissions over an eight-month period is about the same as the UK’s total...

Environment

05.23.13

Food Safety Scandals Bring Reality-Check to “Chinese...

CHINADIALOGUE

In the wake of China’s recent food scandal, Chinese premier Li Keqiang has vowed to enforce the toughest food safety regulations.“We need to crack down on practices that violate laws and regulations with a heavy fist, and make the lawbreakers pay an unaffordable price for...

Environment

04.10.13

Writing Yunnan a Rubber Check

CHRIS HORTON

Our van stopped at a scenic vista on the contour road where verdant mountains undulated southward toward China’s border with Laos. Stepping out to take some photos, I was overcome by an acrid, unpleasant odor. I asked my local travel partner, Xiao Guan, what the stink was.“...

Environment

03.22.13

Public Fury After Chinese Environment Minister Keeps...

CHINADIALOGUE

In his eight years as China’s environmental protection minister, Zhou Shengxian has failed to keep almost a single promise. I say “almost”: he has kept his word at least when it comes to his own career—as promised, he has not quit.When the new leadership’s ministerial...

Environment

03.06.13

Environmentalists Unconvinced by Wen Jiabao’s Green...

CHINADIALOGUE

China’s outgoing premier Wen Jiabao vowed that the government would solve the country’s ever-worsening pollution in his final work report yesterday as he opened the annual session of parliament.But coming amid rising public concern about China’s air, water, and soil quality...

Environment

05.20.13

Water-Trading Could Exacerbate Water Shortages in China

CHINADIALOGUE

Large-scale engineering projects and rigorous state control are hallmarks of the Chinese developmental model, and both have been apparent in the country’s approach to water management.A US$62 billion project to divert water from the south to the parched north is under way,...

Environment

05.17.13

China Tops Table for Disaster-Induced Displacement of...

CHINADIALOGUE

More than a third of all people forced from their homes by disasters such as floods, storms, and earthquakes in the past five years were in China, says a new report from the leading international body on displacement.Around 49.8 million Chinese people were displaced by natural...

Environment

04.30.13

Why Has Water-Rich Yunnan Become A Drought Hotspot?

CHINADIALOGUE

Yunnan’s drought continues. During China’s annual parliamentary session in March, the deputy party secretary of the southwest Chinese province, Qiu He, blamed spring floodwaters that flow through Yunnan and on into other countries for the water shortages. He proposed a...

Environment

03.02.13

China Criticized over Tiger Farms and Illegal Ivory

CHINADIALOGUE

China is under pressure to regulate its rampant trade in illegal ivory and tiger parts ahead of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), opening this weekend in Bangkok.It has also been accused of quietly stimulating domestic markets for tiger skins...

Environment

02.28.13

Drought and Earthquakes Pose “Enormous Risk” to...

CHINADIALOGUE

When the Fukushima nuclear disaster struck, China was building new nuclear power capacity at a rate unprecedented in world history: 40 percent of all reactors planned or under construction were in China. Targets for installed nuclear generation capacity by 2020 were raised...

Media

02.22.13

China’s State-Run Media Shares Powerful Map of “...

TEA LEAF NATION & DAVID WERTIME

It appears that Chinese environmental activism is going further mainstream. The Sina micro-blogging account of Global Times, a well-known Communist Party mouthpiece, has just shared news about the horrific proliferation of “cancer villages” in China. Earlier today...

Environment

01.07.13

Taxi Drivers in China Have Highest PM2.5 Air Pollutant...

CHINADIALOGUE

A study conducted by Greenpeace has revealed that taxi drivers suffer the greatest levels of exposure to PM2.5 air pollution: three times that of the average person, and five times the world standard.The study, carried out by Greenpeace in partnership with the Beijing University...

Environment

12.21.12

China’s Environment in 2012

CHINADIALOGUE

From mass protests to trade wars, shale-gas drilling to hazardous cosmetics, it’s been a topsy turvy twelve months for China’s environment. Here’s a quick refresher of the year that was.JanuaryThe year got off to a bang – literally. The customary fireworks set off for...

Environment

08.28.12

China’s South-North Water Transfer is “Irrational...

CHINADIALOGUE

Ruth Matthews, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, tells Tom Levitt how food has come to dominate our water use and why China may need to re-think its South-North water transfer project.Tom Levitt: What do you mean by our water footprint?Ruth Matthews: A water...

Reports

01.01.08

China’s Green Buildings and Sustainable Cities

Natural Resources Defense Council

The National Resources Defense Council is documenting the way in which it is promoting environmentally friendly growth principles in urban planning in China. This includes it partnership with Chinese governmental organizations in promoting and helping to implement green building...

Reports

11.01.10

Energy Innovation

Council on Foreign Relations

Low-carbon technology innovation and diffusion are both essential aspects of an effective response to climate change. Studying China, India, and Brazil, the authors of this report examine how innovation in low-carbon technologies occurs and how the resulting developments are...