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...

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...

Environment

10.21.16

Will Chinese Money Transform Pakistan?

from chinadialogue
The development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has spurred debate in all quarters. Some perceive it as a form of neo-colonialism and criticize Pakistan’s government for promoting unethical business practices at the cost of ordinary...

Environment

10.17.16

Green Growth Could Boost China’s Economy Six-Fold

from chinadialogue
China’s economy could grow six-fold by 2050 with renewable energy accounting for 69 percent of national electricity supply if it transforms its energy system and increases efficiency across the industrial, transport, construction, and electricity...

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...

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...

Environment

07.21.16

Chengdu’s Pollution Is Complicated by Taxi Apps

from chinadialogue
Research carried out by Peking University’s Statistical Science Centre and Guanghua School of Management found that Chengdu suffers from air pollution 88 percent of the time—even worse than Beijing at 76 percent.

Environment

07.19.16

Schoolkids Suffer Toxic Air at Recycled Rubber Athletic Tracks

Michael Zhao
Chinese are known for recycling, and recycling everything. The industry is even responsible for making billionaires, like China’s “wastepaper queen” Zhang Yin.Yet when factories recycle irresponsibly, the consequences can be dire. Reports...

Environment

07.14.16

South China Faces Worst Floods in Decades

from chinadialogue
It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky, the rain just keeps pouring down, you can’t breathe,” said Mrs Wu from Donghu, a district in Wuhan a city in central China with over 10 million residents. Mrs Wu lives in Chunshuli, an affluent neighborhood...

Environment

07.06.16

China-Backed Hydropower Project Could Disturb a Sensitive Siberian Ecosystem

from Rivers without Boundaries
Lake Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and affects the regional climate of North Asia and the Arctic Basin. The lake is home to 2,500 aquatic species and local communities in Mongolia and Russia revere the lake as the “...

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

06.09.16

Namibia’s Secret Ivory Business

Shi Yi from chinadialogue
Many locals and wildlife conservation institutions I talked to didn’t even know about the existence of the ivory black market in Okahandja.It was a quiet evening in Zambezi, until a herdsman heard a gunshot in the wilderness. By the time the police...

Environment

05.26.16

Beijing Calls South China Sea Island Reclamation a ‘Green Project’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Sand, cement, and Chinese military facilities now sit on top of some of the South China Sea’s once-thriving reefs; China has built over half a dozen new artificial islands in a bid to bolster its territorial claims in the hotly disputed region. Such...

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...

Environment

05.13.16

Why China's Nuclear Exports May Struggle to Find a Market

from chinadialogue
China’s nuclear power industry has eyed up a big push to export its technologies as countries around the world consider low-carbon alternatives to coal.But despite an increasingly clearer field for Chinese nuclear exports—mainly because of the woes...

Environment

04.20.16

Book: ‘Black Dragon River’—Russia’s Wild Window into China

from chinadialogue
Russia’s Far East is supposedly a strategically important area for President Vladimir Putin’s administration, with the government repeatedly declaring that development of the remote territory is one of its top priorities. But, as any Russian expert...

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...

Environment

03.29.16

Xinjiang Ban on Glacier Tourism Ignores the Bigger Problem

from chinadialogue
The Xinjiang government has banned tourists from glaciers under the 13th Five-Year Plan in order to try and save the far northwestern province’s fast-disappearing ice caps. Home to China’s largest glaciers, the Xinjiang province has seen its...

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,...

Environment

01.19.16

Is Industrial Farming a Tech-Fix or Dead End for Tackling Climate Change?

from chinadialogue
Researchers estimate that between 44 and 57 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come from the global food system. Agriculture and deforestation caused by agriculture account for 26-33 percent of total emissions, making it a major...

Environment

01.11.16

Chinese Cities Most at Risk from Rising Sea Levels

from chinadialogue
A study by Climate Central, a non-profit news organization focusing on climate science, showed that 12 other nations have more than 10 million people living on land that would be destroyed should the earth’s temperature rise to 4 degrees Celsius.As...

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...

Environment

11.20.15

China Remains a Rocky Road for Electric Cars

from chinadialogue
Recent revelations about Volkswagen’s emissions have focused attention on the environmental damage caused by the auto and fuel industries—and the need for a decisive shift towards genuinely green transport that can cut smog in the world’s major...

Environment

11.11.15

China’s Bottled Water Industry to Exploit Tibetan Plateau

from chinadialogue
Tibet wants to bottle up much more of the region’s water resources, despite shrinking glaciers and the impact that exploitation of precious resources would have on neighboring countries.This week, the Tibet Autonomous Region’s government released a...

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

10.22.15

China's Boom Has Hurt Wetlands, Threatens Extinction of Rare Birds

from chinadialogue
The destruction of China’s wetlands, which are critical stopping points for birds migrating as far away as the Arctic or the South Pacific, threatens mass extinctions of species across East Asia, new research has found.Besides providing shelter and...

Environment

10.19.15

Can the South-North Water Transfer Project and Industry Co-Exist?

from chinadialogue
Sixty-two years after Chairman Mao first envisioned the South-North Water Transfer project, the Middle Route (SNWT-MR) formally began transferring supplies of water from Danjiangkou reservoir on the border of Hubei and Henan in December 2014.In the...

Environment

10.14.15

U.S.-China Announcement is the Most Significant Milestone to Date for Battling Global Climate Change

from Rocky Mountain Institute
The September 25 joint announcement by President Obama and President Xi represents the second time in two years the leaders have met to make significant climate commitments. Last year’s meeting focused on setting aggressive goals that reflect each...

Environment

09.30.15

Less Snow in Tibet Means More Heatwaves in Europe

from chinadialogue
Recent summer heatwaves in Europe and northeast Asia have caused massive water shortages and a large number of deaths. But the mechanism behind these extreme weather events is not fully understood.Scientists at China’s Nanjing University of...

Environment

09.25.15

Weak Case for UK’s China-Funded Nuclear Plant, Critics Say

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
The U.K. and China moved closer this week to finalizing the finance of a highly controversial plan to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.K. for a generation. The plant, Hinkley Point C in Somerset, western England, is seeking Chinese...

Environment

09.17.15

Beijing Welcomes World’s First Smog-Eating Tower

from chinadialogue
Beijingers enjoyed a rare breath of fresh air this week. The city’s smog levels fell to their lowest levels in recent years, as authorities scrambled to shut down factories and curb car use so that China’s Second World War victory military parade...

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

09.03.15

The Yellow River: A History of China’s Water Crisis

from chinadialogue
During the hot, dry month of August 1992, the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River—the...

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

08.12.15

Beijing’s Air Quality May Finally Be Improving ... But it Still Ain’t Great

Michael Zhao
In February, a Chinese celebrity journalist named Chai Jing released a video on the Internet about the damage air pollution was causing her country. During the week it was online (before Chinese censors pulled it down), people viewed the video 200...

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

07.30.15

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...

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...

Environment

07.15.15

Scientists Call for More Emission Cuts

from chinadialogue
It is still possible to limit average global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius (2˚C) and avoid catastrophic climate change, but the remaining global carbon budget—the amount of carbon that can be safely released into the atmosphere if this...

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 “...

Environment

06.25.15

Growing Pains for China’s New Environmental Courts

from chinadialogue
In recent years, China has set up hundreds of new environmental courts as part of institutional reforms that aim to encourage greener growth and curb pollution, but the country will have to speed up training and recruitment to ensure judges have the...

Environment

06.24.15

High Off the Hog

Stefani Kim
Hongshaorou—“red braised” pork belly, a classic Chinese dish—is cooked with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce until the squares of fatty meat are so tender they dissolve in the mouth. Once a luxury, this succulent delicacy was known to be a favorite...

Environment

06.15.15

China’s Greehouse Gas Emissions Likely to Peak by 2025

from chinadialogue
China’s output of greenhouse gases could peak in 2025, five years earlier than it has promised, meaning that the world’s largest emitter may be able to quicken the pace of cuts in coming decades, according to a new paper published June 8 by the...

Environment

05.28.15

Chinese Posters Warn of the Dangers of Smog

from chinadialogue
{slideshow, 16211, 4}An exhibition of smog-inspired posters is touring the polluted cities of northern and eastern China this month to draw attention to the impending environmental disaster.Created by a group of Chinese designers, the 300 posters...

Environment

05.21.15

China’s Role in Illegal Trade of Toxic E-Waste Rising Sharply

from chinadialogue
Discarded smartphones and other gadgets are poisoning the environment and people in developing countries, where most of the world’s electronic waste (e-waste) is being dumped illegally and now involves criminal gangs, the UN’s environment arm warned...

Environment

05.20.15

Can China Really Meet Its Clean Energy Goals? And How?

Jill Baker
China is the world’s largest energy consumer, and its energy use is dirty and inefficient. But it is working hard to change that. Currently, coal accounts for nearly 70 percent of China’s total energy consumption, and this, coupled with an aging...

Environment

05.19.15

Dredging For Disaster

from Foreign Policy
Tensions are rising in the South China Sea. On May 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Beijing for talks which will likely focus on the territorial disputes. But China’s controversial effort to assert its sovereignty in the South China...

Environment

05.14.15

Nepal Earthquake Highlights Dangers of Dam-Building in Tibet

from chinadialogue
Although the precise picture is still unclear, it’s likely that Nepal’s huge earthquake in April 2015 wreaked major damage on more than a dozen hydroelectric projects in Nepal.This should sound a shrill warning for projects across the border in...

Environment

05.08.15

It’s Time to Fix China’s Food Safety Conundrum

from chinadialogue
Food safety scandals have become so common in China that people are losing confidence in what they eat. The government has consistently emphasised the need for better regulation of the food industry, and it’s established an inter-ministerial...

Environment

04.30.15

‘Blue Sky’ App Gets China’s Public Thinking About Pollution Solutions

from chinadialogue
The Blue Sky Map app, which was officially launched April 28 by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), enables the public to check up on air and water quality and local sources of pollution, and scrutinize emissions from 9,000...

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...

Environment

04.16.15

Petrochemical Plant Explosion Vaporizes Government Safety Assurances

from chinadialogue
Opposing the construction of petrochemical plants making Paraxyline (PX), a key ingredient in plastic bottles and polyester clothing, has been one of the most common forms of environmental activism for China’s urban residents in the past decade.On...

Environment

04.02.15

‘Wolf Totem’ Trainer Sees Risks, Rewards for Hollywood in China

from chinadialogue
Wolf trainer Andrew Simpson has just wrapped up three years in Beijing coaching wolves to perform in the film version of the novel Wolf Totem. The Sino-French adaptation of Jiang Rong’s best-selling 2004 novel opened in Beijing and Europe in...

Environment

03.26.15

China Court to Hear NGO Lawsuit Targeting Polluter’s Profits

from chinadialogue
An environmental group has filed a lawsuit for 30 million yuan (U.S.$4.8 million) to seek compensation from a Shandong chemical company for pumping out harmful substances—a legal action thought to be the first public interest litigation for air...

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...

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

03.05.15

Beijing Says Panda Population Up 17%, But Experts Doubtful

from chinadialogue
China's claims that its population of wild giant pandas rose around 17% in just over a decade are being disputed by some experts, who point out that the latest census was over a much wider area than the previous one.The giant panda, a global...