Environment

04.10.14

With Dietary Shift, China Facing Health Crisis

from chinadialogue
Tom Levitt: What are the dietary changes going on in China today?Barry Popkin: There are three or four big changes taking place. Firstly, people in China are purchasing more and more of their food from retailers, be they convenience stores, medium-...

Environment

04.03.14

China’s Air Pollution Reporting is Misleading

from chinadialogue
China’s air pollution is being reported in a misleading way, blocking public understanding and enabling official inaction. Outdoor air pollution in China causes an estimated 1.2 million premature deaths and 25 million healthy years of life lost...

Environment

03.27.14

Climate Change Darkens Life in China

from 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...

Environment

03.19.14

Is China Underfunding its ‘War on Pollution’?

from 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...

Environment

03.11.14

It’s Time to Cooperate on the Yarlung Tsangpo

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
This is part of a special series of articles produced by thethirdpole.net on the future of the Yarlung Tsangpo river—one of the world’s great transboundary rivers—which starts on the Tibetan Plateau before passing through India and Bangladesh.The...

Environment

03.05.14

Should China Follow in America’s Factory Farming Footsteps?

from chinadialogue
The scale of growth in China’s meat production over the past three decades is staggering. Today, one-third of the world’s meat is produced in the country and half of all pigs live there. While per capita consumption may still be below the U.S. and...

Environment

02.28.14

Citizen Sues Local Government for Failing to Curb Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
Although residents in Northern China are no strangers to dirty air, a man from the smog-enshrouded Hebei province has decided to take the local environmental authority to court for failing to control air pollution.Li Guixin, a resident in Hebei’s...

Environment

02.26.14

South-North Water Transfer ‘Not Sustainable,’ Official Says

from chinadialogue
The $62 billion South-North Water Transfer Project would be rendered irrelevant if one-third of buildings in Beijing could collect more rainwater and recycle more wastewater, according to a Chinese ministerial official. The remarks made by Qiu...

Environment

02.20.14

Pollution Tax Suggested for Wealthy Chinese Fleeing for Greener Pastures

from 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...

Environment

02.19.14

Water Pollution: More Difficult to Fix Than Dirty Air?

from chinadialogue
Although China’s air pollution keeps making headlines, its water pollution is just as urgent a problem. One-fifth of the country’s rivers are toxic, while two-fifths are classified as seriously polluted. In 2012, more than half of China’s cities had...

Environment

02.12.14

China Unlikely to Reduce Coal Use in the Next Decade

from 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...

Environment

02.05.14

China’s Future Energy Security Will Depend on Water

from 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...

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...

Environment

01.30.14

This Chinese Filmmaker Can’t Stop Talking Trash

Sun Yunfan
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Wang Jiuliang spent four years, between 2008 and 2011, documenting over 460 hazardous and mostly illegal landfill sites around Beijing.His award-winning film Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011) provoked intense...

Environment

01.29.14

Banned Toxins Found in Kids’ Clothes Made in China

from chinadialogue
Toxic chemicals have been found in children’s clothes sold by Burberry, Adidas, Disney, and nine other brands, according to a report published by the campaign group Greenpeace. These chemicals can be ingested via hand-to-mouth contact, and then...

Environment

01.21.14

Real-time Air Quality Data Due from 179 Chinese Cities

from 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...

Environment

01.15.14

Why Low-Carbon Innovation Matters

Sam Geall from 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...

Environment

01.08.14

The Drying Up of China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

from 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...

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

12.23.13

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

from 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...

Environment

12.18.13

Fines Won’t Solve China’s Smog Problem

from 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...

Environment

12.12.13

China’s Coal Industry at a Crossroads

from chinadialogue
Times are getting rough for Wang Guangchun, a ten-year veteran sales manager of a state-owned coal company.“During the golden era of the past, clients came to find me,” Wang said. “Starting last year, we had to go looking for them.”Wang is employed...

Environment

12.05.13

Daoism, Confucianism, and the Environment

from 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...

Environment

11.27.13

Life in the Shadow of the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the second in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong (Lancang) River. Part one is an analysis of how China’s resettlement policies are playing out on the ground. Part two, below,...

Environment

11.21.13

Displaced by the Mekong Dams

from chinadialogue
This is the first in a two-part special report on the resettlement rights of villagers displaced by dams along the Mekong River.From far away, Kang Lianghong and his wife look like little white dots, zig-zagging their way down the steep hillside...

Environment

11.12.13

China’s Urban Dilemma

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
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...

Environment

10.07.13

The Battle Over Ecuador’s Oil Takes New Twist

from chinadialogue
The announcement by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, that he has abandoned a ground-breaking scheme stopping oil operations in the Amazon has led to a wave of protests across the country and speculation about why it failed.The stated aim of the...

Environment

09.26.13

China’s Electric Bicycle Boom: Will the Fashion Last?

from chinadialogue
In the bike-loving Netherlands, electric bicycles now account for one-third of bicycle spending. The e-bike is encroaching on the Vespa in Rome, and multiplying on the steep roads of Lausanne. Globally, the production of electric bicycles is...

Environment

09.23.13

Chinese Coal Demand to Peak by 2020

from chinadialogue
Over the last decade, predicting the future of global energy markets has centered more or less on what people thought China was going to do. Analysts and researchers have since assumed that Chinese coal demand is insatiable and will continue along...

Environment

09.18.13

Are the U.S. and China Finally Getting Serious about Climate Change?

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...

Environment

09.12.13

Electric Cars Offer China the Chance to Become Global Pioneer

from chinadialogue
Despite some serious doubts over the viability of electric vehicle (EV) makers, the sector could still have a promising future in China, according to a report published by the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.China’s EV sector currently...

Environment

08.29.13

Beijing Water Shortage Worse Than the Middle East

from 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...

Environment

08.14.13

Beijing’s Neighbors Hesitate at Pollution Cuts

from 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...

Environment

08.09.13

Beijing is Trapped in its Polluted Neighborhood

from chinadialogue
In 2011, approximately 9,900 premature deaths in China are estimated to have been due to pollution. The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently released a pollution ranking of seventy-four cities over the first three months of the year. Of 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

07.25.13

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

from 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...

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

07.18.13

Chinese Nuclear Versus Chinese Renewables

from 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...

Environment

07.16.13

Local Officials in North China Quit Smoking to Fight Air Pollution

from 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...

Environment

07.11.13

Organic Farming Takes Root in Nepal

from chinadialogue
The fierce sunlight bakes the fields and the winter crop of potatoes is still under the soil. Fifty-five year old Nepalese farmer Badri Prasad Humagain sits in his front yard looking out at his small field. His village in the Kathmandu...

Environment

07.08.13

The Water Challenge Facing China’s Coal and Power Sector Is “Inescapable”

from 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...

Environment

07.03.13

Understanding China’s Domestic Agenda Can End U.N. Climate Gridlock

from chinadialogue
Li Shuo of Greenpeace China has recently argued on chinadialogue that U.N. climate talks can drive more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in China, the world’s largest emitter. This optimism goes against much of the conventional wisdom...

Environment

06.20.13

China’s GM Soybean Imports Stir Up Controversy

from 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&nbsp...

Environment

06.06.13

Wuxi-Düsseldorf and the Challenge of Green City Partnerships

from 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-...

Environment

05.30.13

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

from 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...

Environment

05.28.13

How China Can Kick-start Carbon Capture and Storage

from 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...

Environment

05.23.13

Food Safety Scandals Bring Reality-Check to “Chinese Dream”

from 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...

Environment

05.20.13

Water-Trading Could Exacerbate Water Shortages in China

from 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...

Environment

05.17.13

China Tops Table for Disaster-Induced Displacement of People

from 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...

Environment

05.16.13

Singapore’s Growth Story Holds Lessons for Water-Scarce China

from chinadialogue
When the tiny city-state of Singapore gained independence in 1965, its social, economic, political, and environmental constraints appeared so formidable that many of those looking in from outside predicted a future of dismal dimensions.Forty years...

Environment

05.03.13

Time to End Secrecy Over Chinese Overseas Fishing

from chinadialogue
It is well-known that overseas fishing fleets are more cavalier in terms of respect for laws and regulations than their domestic counterparts. There are innumerable examples from all over the world of fishing with gears that are not part of...

Environment

04.30.13

Why Has Water-Rich Yunnan Become A Drought Hotspot?

from 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...

Environment

04.28.13

Poor Rural Residents in China Seen as Easy Target for Environmental Lawsuits

from chinadialogue
China today boasts a collection of ninety-five environmental courts, all of which were set up over the past six years. It is a trend that promises to re-shape Chinese environmental law.But simply trumpeting this initiative is no guarantee the...

Environment

04.22.13

Why It’s Time to End China-Bashing on the Environment

from chinadialogue
The major impact that international summits and treaties have had on China’s environmental governance is often overlooked. Environmental protection first emerged as an issue in China in 1972, after the country dispatched a delegation to the U.N...

Environment

04.16.13

Morococha: The Peruvian Town the Chinese Relocated

from chinadialogue
The headlines have been stark: a Chinese mining company moves an entire Peruvian town of 5,000 people five miles down the road to make way for its new mine.It sounds like another story about an extractive corporation riding roughshod over local...

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...

Environment

03.25.13

Chinese Nuclear Disaster “Highly Probable” by 2030

from chinadialogue
Some members of the nuclear power industry rely too much on theoretical calculations, when only experience can provide real accuracy.The lifetime of nuclear reactors is calculated in “reactor-years.” One reactor-year means one reactor operating for...

Environment

03.22.13

Public Fury After Chinese Environment Minister Keeps Job

from 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...

Environment

03.18.13

Baby Milk Restrictions Cause Outrage in Mainland China

from chinadialogue
The Hong Kong government’s recent listing of baby formula as a “reserved commodity” and a 1.8kg per person per day export limit has sparked widespread criticism—as well as becoming a hot topic at China’s annual session of parliament [the Lianghui,...

Environment

03.13.13

Chinese Fracking Plans Prompt “Water-Grabbing” Fears

from chinadialogue
China has become one of Asia’s leaders in expanding unconventional shale-gas extraction in the name of energy self-sufficiency and national autonomy. Experiences of “fracking” worldwide, however, suggest the costs to China of joining this revolution...