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...

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...

Environment

02.23.15

Chinese Firms Must Act Decisively on Climate Change, Report Says

from chinadialogue
Chinese companies will need to cut direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their operations by up to 2.7% a year if China is to stay on track with the level of action required to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, says a new report...

Environment

02.11.15

China’s New Environment Minister Has Work Cut Out For Him

from chinadialogue
The elevation of the president of China's most prestigious university to the job of government minister was unexpected. It is rare to bring in an academic without a goverment background. But given the tarnished reputation of a ministry that is...

Environment

02.05.15

Parched Beijing’s Olympics Bid Based on Fake Snow

from chinadialogue
Where better for a Winter Olympic Games than famously arid north China?Drought and a fast growing economy have created water shortages so severe that China’s government has spent more than a decade, and up to U.S.$80 billion, constructing 2,400...

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...

Environment

01.21.15

‘New Measures Needed’ To Take China’s Cars Off the Roads

from chinadialogue
As air pollution once more soared to hazardous levels last week in Beijing, in Washington a panel of Chinese and other international experts explained some of the solutions to taking cars off the roads in the world’s most populous country, but there...

Environment

01.16.15

Can the Potato Help Feed China, Cut Pollution, and Alleviate Drought?

from chinadialogue
The Ministry of Agriculture’s move to make potatoes an increasingly important staple in Chinese kitchens, including the propagation of recipes that rely on the humble tuber, at first glance might appear slightly odd and surprising.The potato has...

Environment

01.15.15

China-Latin America Summit ‘A Missed Opportunity’ on Low-Carbon Energy

The first major meeting of Chinese and Latin American leaders agreed closer cooperation on trade, investment, and industry, but is more likely to usher in deals on oil and gas rather than renewable energy, analysts said in response to a summit that...

Environment

01.09.15

China’s Polluters Hit with Biggest-Ever Fines

from chinadialogue
Two days before a new environmental law came into effect, six polluting companies in Jiangsu were ordered by the province’s highest court to pay 160 million yuan ($26 million) in restoration costs for illegally dumping almost 25,000 tons of chemical...

Environment

01.07.15

A Post-Mortem on Jack Ma’s Hunting Trip

from chinadialogue
In 2014, just before the U.S. IPO of his company Alibaba, Jack Ma became caught up in a debate sparked by a hunting trip he took to the U.K.. My colleagues and I at chinadialogue had an idea: rise above that debate and look at the facts.The U.K...

Environment

12.05.14

The Great Lake in Danger

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto & Carlos Herrera from Confidencial
Southwest of the Maderas volcano, where the Rivas coast is a line fading into the distance, Lake Cocibolca’s inmensity is on prominent display: breezes softly comb stretches of water that are seemingly endless. Sonar has marked this as the deepest...

Environment

12.05.14

A Catastrophe for Nicaragua’s Great Lake

Carlos F. Chamorro from Confidencial
Eighty years old, with more than a dozen books on national geography and natural resources to his name, he is the most authoritative voice in the country on environmental issues. Jaime Incer Barquero, former Minister of the Environment and Natural...

Environment

12.04.14

Indian Critics of Tibet’s First Dam ‘Exaggerating’ Dangers

from chinadialogue
Tibet’s first major dam, the Zangmu hydropower station, started generating electricity at the end of November. This prompted complaints from Indian media that Chinese dam building on the Yarlung Zangbo River could reduce water flow and cause...

Environment

11.26.14

The People’s Republic of Chemicals

from chinadialogue
The name of China is almost obscured by a grey smudge on the title page of The People’s Republic of Chemicals, and this image proves to be apt.  This book examines the crisis caused by toxic&...

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...

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...

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...

Environment

10.23.14

Tesla-Unicom Deal Could Spark China’s Electric Vehicle Market

from chinadialogue
Electric vehicle firm Tesla’s major new deal with China Unicom to build EV charging infrastructure unites what is seemingly the only EV success story, pursuing a business model targeting elite customers, with China’s second largest mobile phone...

Environment

10.23.14

Tibetan Plateau Faces Massive ‘Ecosystem Shift’

from chinadialogue
Large areas of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands, and permafrost will disappear on the Tibetan plateau by 2050, with serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia, a research paper published by scientists at the Kunming...

Environment

10.16.14

‘Paranoia’ and Public Opinion

Sam Geall from chinadialogue
When permits for Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired this summer, there was concern. More so, given there was little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture would renew them.The certificates, issued in 2009,...

Environment

10.16.14

Chinese Environmentalists, in Their Own Words

Michael Zhao
Earlier this year, ChinaFile’s Environment Editor, Michael Zhao, teamed up with Phoenix Online to create a series of two-minute documentaries on the work, ideas, and aspirations of Chinese environmental advocates. The environmentalists, many of whom...

Environment

10.09.14

Locals Attack Factory After Children Poisoned with Lead

from chinadialogue
Villagers from the township of Gangkou in Jiangxi province, southeast China, have smashed up a new lead recycling plant which was due to begin operating.Unconvinced by reassurances from the owners and local government that there would be no...

Environment

10.02.14

China ‘Not Ready to be a World Leader’ on Climate Change

from chinadialogue
The U.N. Climate Summit 2014 in New York last week passed, as expected, with public statements of intent but no sign of firm commitments to reducing climate emissions.If a deal is to be reached in Paris next year, at the latest “last hope” climate...

Environment

09.25.14

New York Climate Summit Fails to Bridge Rich-Poor Divide

from chinadialogue
India reiterated its need to develop, China listed the steps it was taking and the United States repeated that all countries should control greenhouse-gas emissions.Despite notable advances in many areas, the special climate summit convened by...

Environment

09.19.14

Here’s How This Giant Chinese Forest Disappeared

Michael Zhao
In early August, Greenpeace China’s forest campaigner Wu Hao wrote a piece in the environmental section of the newspaper Southern Weekly about China’s astonishing rate of deforestation. He posted dramatic before and after satellite images of forests...

Environment

09.10.14

The Dark Side of the Boom

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
Just over a year ago, in July 2013, a report published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, put the health impacts of air pollution in China into an unusually clear framework: residents of south China, the report said...

Environment

09.04.14

Alibaba Founder Shoots Himself in the Foot with UK Hunting Trip

from chinadialogue
Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba and chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s China Program, has drawn hostile fire from environmentalists after a British newspaper recently reported he hunted stags in Scotland in 2012. What’s more, Ma...

Environment

08.21.14

Who Will Feed China’s Pigs?

from chinadialogue
He's been called China’s richest chicken farmer, but Liu Yonghao has come a long way from his days breeding birds in rural Sichuan province.As the billionaire founder of the New Hope Group, China’s largest producer of animal feed, Liu’s rise...

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...

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...

Environment

08.07.14

What to Do About China’s Polluted Farmland?

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...

Environment

07.23.14

Moving a Mountain, of Trash

from 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...

Environment

07.17.14

The Legacy of Hunan’s Polluted Soils

from chinadialogue
This is the second 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 three.Cao Fushe spent much of 2013...

Environment

07.17.14

China Faces Long Battle to Clean Polluted Soil

from 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...

Environment

07.10.14

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

from 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...

Environment

07.03.14

The Victims of China’s Soil Pollution Crisis

from 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...

Environment

06.27.14

Germany’s Renewables Paradox a Warning Sign for China

from 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”)...

Environment

06.19.14

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

from 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...

Environment

06.12.14

The Dead Swans of Dongting Lake

from chinadialogue
I’ve lost track of how many nights I spent traveling to Dongting Lake, a large, shallow lake in Hunan province, central China, famed for being the origin of dragon-boat racing.In mid-January 2013 I met the Yueyang River Porpoise Conservation Society...

Environment

05.23.14

Killing Pika Won’t Save Tibetan Grasslands

from chinadialogue
A pest extermination campaign is under way on western China’s Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. But experts say there is no scientific basis for the killing of the pika, a small rabbit-like mammal, and warn that the campaign may throw the ecosystem further...

Environment

05.21.14

Infographic: China’s Pig Footprint

from chinadialogue
Meat invariably means pig in China, with pork accounting for 65% of the meat consumed in the country.And after last year's high-profile takeover of the U.S. pig giant Smithfield by Shuanghui International, since renamed the WH Group, the...

Environment

05.15.14

Anti-Chinese Sentiment on Rise in Myanmar

from chinadialogue
The Shwe pipeline shaves an angry bald strip across the red clay hills and disappears into the morning mist. A sign hanging above an area cordoned off by bamboo fencing warns in English, “Severe punishment on pipeline destruction.”“Families were...

Environment

05.07.14

Why China Will Fight for a Global Climate Deal Next Year

from 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...

Environment

04.30.14

China’s Environmental Law Good on Paper

from 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...

Environment

04.24.14

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

from 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,...

Environment

04.16.14

Ten Steps to Cleaner Air in China’s Cities

from 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...