China and the United States - A Comparison of Green Energy Programs and Policies

Richard J. Campbell
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
China has experienced tremendous economic growth over the last three decades, with an annual average increase in gross domestic product of 9.8 percent during that period. This has led to an increasing demand for energy, spurring China to add an...

Sinica Podcast


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-...

Sinica Podcast


What If the BP Oil Spill Happened in China...

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As Gady Epstein reports in this special dispatch, “some time ago, we reached the China Zone in the BP story.” The China Zone is—for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet—the point at which a reasonable observer will believe almost anything about...



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...



Game-Changing China: Lessons from China about Disruptive Low Carbon Innovation

David Tyfield, Jun Jin, Tyler Rooker
Big hydro, big solar photovoltaic, and big wind—these are the usual focus of accounts of low-carbon technologies in China. But a very different type of innovation—ranging from a farm cooperative in Yunnan, to woodchip and corn pellets in rural...

The Message from the Glaciers

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
It was not so long ago that the parts of the globe covered permanently with ice and snow, the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greater Himalayas (“the abode of the snows” in Sanskrit), were viewed as distant, frigid climes of little consequence. Only the most...



Navigating Climate Change: An Agenda for U.S.-Chinese Cooperation

Jacqueline McLaren Miller and Piin-Fen Kok
EastWest Institute
This paper focuses on two areas that pose the biggest obstacles to progress in bilateral and multilateral efforts to address climate change concerns: the trade-off between emission caps and development goals; and technology transfer and intellectual...



Seeding Positive Impacts: How Business and Civil Society Can Contribute to the Sustainability of Chinese Agriculture

Laura Ediger, Fengyuan Wang, Stephanie Tian, and Keanu Zhang
Sara Segal-Williams
From farm-level impacts related to pesticide and fertilizer use, to the processing and packaging of the final product, processes along the agricultural supply chain in China have an adverse environmental health impact. Companies and civil society...

Sinica Podcast


The Eulogy and the Aftershocks

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Coming twenty-one years after the death of former Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, Premier Wen Jiabao’s surprise eulogy to his former mentor last week was the subject of much discussion among China-watchers worldwide. In today’s episode of Sinica, we...



Who Owns Carbon in Rural China?

Zhu Keliang, Darryl Vhugen, and Nathan Hilgendorf
He Jianan
Despite decades of rapid economic growth in China, rural areas remain largely undeveloped. Rural China is home to more than 195 million hectares of forestland—the equivalent of around 5 billion tons of carbon. Rights to forestland are either 1)...

Copenhagen: China’s Oppressive Climate

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
As the UN’s Climate Change Conference opens in Copenhagen this week, much attention will focus on China and the United States, who are, by a wide margin, the world’s two leading emitters of greenhouse gases. The success of the conference will depend...



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...

China’s Boom: The Dark Side in Photos

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
I have seen some woeful scenes of industrial apocalypse and pollution in my travels throughout China, but there are very few images that remain vividly in my mind. This is why the photographs of Lu Guang are so important. A fearless documentary...



The Pivotal Relationship: How Obama Should Engage China

Liu Xuecheng Robert Oxnam
EastWest Institute
Providing their respective hopes and expectations on what they would like to see in the Obama administration’s China policy are Liu Xuecheng and Robert Oxnam, who both envision opportunities for reframing the China-U.S. relationship in a way that...



Strengthening US-China Climate Change and Energy Engagement

Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
The United States of America and the People's Republic of China are both key players in international efforts to address global warming and global energy security. Indeed, they are by far the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in...



A Roadmap for US-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change

Asia Society
The world faces no greater challenge in the 21st century than arresting the rapidly increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cause climate change. The two largest producers of these gases are the United States and China...



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...



Wanjiazhai Water Transfer Project: Key Factors and Assesment

World Bank
China's impressive economic performance since 1978 with a growth rate of GDP of 9.5 percent per year has been mainly in the industrial and commercial sectors and is concentrated in urban areas; as a result, urban water demand has increased by...

Choking on Growth

Joseph Kahn
New York Times
A series of articles and multimedia examining China’s pollution crisis.



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

Li Ping
He Jianan
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...



A Guide on Sustainable Overseas Silviculture by Chinese Enterprises

He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
This report prescribes the fundamental principles to observe in sustainable forestry maintenance, or silviculture, and the basic requirements for the Chinese enterprises engaged in realizing sustainable silviculture. The Guide applies to regulating...



NRDC Strives to Minimize the Toll From Coal in China

Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC is working with China to reduce this reliance on coal—and cut down on coal's accompanying health and safety hazards—by aggressively targeting energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, and promoting coal gasification with carbon capture...



The State of Wildlife Trade in China

Xu Ling, Liu Xueyan, Meng Meng, Yin Feng, Dick Tong, Timothy Lam, Xu Hongfa, Joyce Wu
World Wildlife
This edition aims to highlight wildlife trade trends in threatened and at-risk wildlife from the past year, with an emphasis on the impact of China’s consumption on globally important biodiversity ‘hotspots.’ Surveys in 2007 found that while illegal...



China’s Growing Interest in Latin America

Kerry Dumbaugh, Mark P. Sullivan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Over the past year, increasing attention has focused on China’s growing interest in Latin America. Most analysts appear to agree that China’s primary interest in the region is to gain greater access to needed resources—such as oil, copper, and iron—...



Fuel Cell Vehicle Development in China

Jingjing Qian, Barbara Finamore, and Tina Clegg
Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
Hydrogen fuel cells (FCs) are one of the most promising new technologies of the twenty-first century for electricity generation. Because a fuel cell directly converts the chemical energy of hydrogen fuel to electrical energy without burning the fuel...

China’s Assault on the Environment

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In 1956 Chairman Mao wrote the poem “Swimming,” about a dam to be built across the Yangtze River. This is its second stanza:A magnificent project is formed. The Bridge, it flies! Spanning North and South, and a Natural Barrier becomes a thoroughfare...

Room at the Top

Pico Iyer from New York Review of Books
The last time I was in the Himalayas, I met a young, highly Westernized Tibetan who, misled perhaps by my Indian features (born in England, I’ve never lived in the subcontinent), started talking to me about the strange ways of the exotic foreigners...

Is There Enough Chinese Food?

Vaclav Smil from New York Review of Books
1.Many Americans think they know something about Chinese food. But very few know anything about food in China, about the ways in which it is grown, stored, distributed, eaten, and wasted, about its effects on the country’s politics, and about its...

The Chinese Miracle?

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
Over the last few months the news and reportage about China have become almost incomprehensibly divided between two points of view. According to one set of reports, China is now confirmed as an economic “colossus,” shaking off all the trammels of...