Why Scrapping 6 Million Cars is Not Going to End China’s Pollution Problem

Adam Taylor
Washington Post
While studies have shown some success from these measures, the fact that this bigger ban is being proposed is perhaps a sign it wasn't enough...

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...

China’s Air Pollution Leading to More Erratic Climate for US, Say Scientists

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
Computer modelling shows intensification of U.S.-bound Pacific storms, driven by fine aerosols from coal power plants and traffic.

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...

This Chinese Couple Turned Their Wedding Photos Into Protest Art

Marguerite Ward
PolicyMic
People in China cannot breathe, and they are getting tired of trying to mask it. One newlywed couple, in an act of protest, took their wedding portraits outdoors. 

Happy and Unhappy in China

James Fallows
Atlantic
The new video “Happy in Beijing,” shot over the past few days of worse-than-ever airpocalypse in Beijing, is worth noticing for several reasons.

Chinese Man Sues Local Government Over Smog

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
Li Guixin of Hebei province has become the first person to sue the government over air pollution. 

China Must Reduce ‘Unbearable’ Smog, Government Adviser Says

Bloomberg
China's air pollution has reached intolerable levels and the country should aggressively cut its reliance on coal, according to the government’s climate-change adviser...

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...

In China’s War On Bad Air, Government Decision to Release Data Gives Hope

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China’s Communist state is hardly known for its transparency. So when environmental groups appealed for official air pollution data, they were not expecting much.

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...

Beijing Air Pollution At Dangerously High Levels

Associated Press
The PM2.5 density was calculated at 26 times higher than what is considered safe by the WHO. 

Chinese Drivers Pollute Without Guilt

Adam Miner
Bloomberg
Chinese demand for private transportation soars while air-quality plummets. 

Sinica Podcast

01.03.14

Birds of Beijing and the Air They Fly In

Jeremy Goldkorn & Terry Townshend from Sinica Podcast
This week, Sinica responds to the fevered requests of the Azure-Winged Magpie society with a show all about birding in Beijing. And why not? Because despite the air pollution that wracks our fair city, Beijing remains one of the best places in 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...

If You Can't Beat the Shanghai Smog, Change the System

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
As the smog that has choked Shanghai for much of the last week reached hazardous levels, the city’s environmental authority adjusted standards downward to ensure that there won’t be so many frequent  air-quality alerts.

China: Here Are Some Great Things About Toxic Air

Emily Rauhala
Time
China's state-run TV tries to put a positive spin on toxic haze. Nice try, guys, nice try...

Media

12.11.13

Pollution Has ‘Five Surprising Benefits,’ says State TV, but Chinese Unamused

Polluted air is a fact of life for many Chinese citizens, and it’s currently smothering parts of the country—but that’s not all bad, according to one state media outlet’s widely-ridiculed attempt at positive spin. A recent bout of noxious smog has...

N.A.S.A. Satellite Images Reveal the Terrifying Extent of China’s Air Pollution

Ellie Zolfagharifard
Daily Mail
Satellite images provided by N.A.S.A.’s Suomi satellite give a new, even more horrifying face to the awful air pollution that is plaguing China. 

Suck It and See

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/...
Guardian
There are many theories on how China could best tackle its air pollution problem: it could shutter its factories, upgrade its emissions standards or, according to one Dutch artist, it could simply suck up the haze...

Conversation

10.22.13

Why’s China’s Smog Crisis Still Burning So Hot?

Alex Wang, Isabel Hilton & more
Alex Wang:On Sunday, the start of the winter heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance.Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution...

Government Offers 5 Billion Yuan to Fight Pollution

Zheng Jiran
China Daily
 The 5 billion yuan will help create an incentive for the designated regions to meet their air pollution reduction targets, to invest in pollution control and to aid their efforts to reduce airborne pollutants.  

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...

China’s Plan to Curb Air Pollution Sets Limits on Coal Use and Vehicles

Edward Wong
New York Times
This plan represents the most concrete response yet by the Communist Party and the government to growing criticism over allowing the country’s air, soil and water to degrade to abysmal levels because of corruption and unchecked economic growth.&...

Viewpoint

09.11.13

Beijing’s Air in 2013 or Ground Zero’s After 9/11: Which Was Worse?

Emily Brill
When I moved to Beijing from New York in February to study Chinese, a question began to haunt me: Could Beijing’s air in 2013 be more dangerous than the toxic brew produced by the 9/11 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center, which hung over...

Beijing Toughens Pollution Rules to Clean Up Air

Xinhua
In a five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017), the Beijing municipal government said 1,200 polluting companies will be ordered to upgrade or close parts or all of their facilities in the coming years to 2016. 

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...

Can China Clean Up Fast Enough?

Economist
China is going through an industrial-powered growth spurt and the urge to get rich outweighs the desire for clean air. However, China is beginning to clean up its act.

Pollution Economics

Dirk Forrister and Paul Bledsoe
New York Times
With more than a million people dying prematurely each year from breathing its dirty air, the Communist country is experimenting with a capitalist approach: create incentives so that the market will force reductions in emissions.

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...

Life in a Toxic Country

Edward Wong
New York Times
Before this assignment, I reported from Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my...

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...

China’s Reliance on Coal Reduces Life Expectancy by 5.5 Years

Jonathan Kaiman
Guardian
The study concluded that long-term exposure to air containing 100 micrograms of total suspended particles (T.S.P.) per cubic meter “is associated with a reduction in life expectancy at birth of about 3.0 years.” 

China Launches World's No. 2 Carbon Trading Market

Age
Seven pilot carbon-trading programs are scheduled to start this year, with the first opening today in Shenzhen, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei. They are set to regulate 800 million to 1 billion tons of...

In China, a Push for Cleaner Air

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
China’s State Council announced an ambitious package on Friday of 10 measures to combat air pollution. Air pollution is a major problem in China and steps to alleviate the problem are vital to the government’s stated goals of...

Beijing Air Laden With Arsenic, Other Heavy Metals

Yan Shuang
Global Times
Such heavy metals can damage the nervous system and cause cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a report by a joint team of Greenpeace members and scholars from Peking University that tested the capital’s air over a 15-day period. 

Pollution Is Radically Changing Childhood In China’s Cities

Edward Wong
New York Times
Parents are confining sons and daughters to their homes, even if it means keeping them away from friends. Schools are canceling outdoor activities and field trips. Parents with means are choosing schools based on air-filtration systems. 

Why Leave Job In Beijing? To Breathe

Laurie Burkitt and Brian Spegele
Wall Street Journal
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China says air pollution is a key challenge facing companies here, and is an underlying reason why many expatriate workers choose to leave. 

As Pollution Worsens In China, Solutions Succumb To Infighting

Edward Wong
New York Times
As some officials push for tighter restrictions on pollutants, SOEs have been putting profits ahead of health in working to outflank new rules, according to government data and interviews with people involved in policy negotiations. 

Carbon Copy: Why China’s Air-Pollution Problem Isn’t Unique

Aaron Reuben
Atlantic
“...in relation to the population density we see in China,” biologist Ramon Guardans says, “the U.S. and Europe did a much dirtier job industrializing.” 

Choking To Death: Health Consequences Of Air Pollution in China

Yanzhong Huang
Council on Foreign Relations
 The number of lung cancer-caused mortality in China has increased by 465 percent in the past three decades, due to severe air pollution. 

Environment

03.06.13

Environmentalists Unconvinced by Wen Jiabao’s Green Words

from 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...

Environment

02.20.13

Air Quality in China: A Snapshot

Nearly five weeks ago, Beijing experienced its worst day of air quality on record: Levels of PM2.5—small particulates that can cause lung, cardiovascular, and respiratory disease—soared to more than thirty times the level considered safe by the...

Eye-Stinging Bejiing Air Risks Lifelong Harm to Babies

Daryl Loo and Natasha Khan
Bloomberg
Air quality in the Chinese capital deteriorated beyond World Health Organization safe limits every day last month as smoke from coal-powered generators, factory emissions, car fumes, and dust amassed over the city of 20 million people.

Conversation

02.06.13

Airpocalypse Now: China’s Tipping Point?

Alex Wang, Orville Schell & more
The recent run of air pollution in China, we now know, has been worse than the air quality in airport smoking lounges. At its worst, Beijing air quality has approached levels only seen in the United States during wildfires.All of the comparisons to...

Infographics

02.03.13

Where Does Beijing’s Pollution Come From?

David Wertime & David M. Barreda from Sohu
In January alone, a stifling and noxious haze twice enveloped the Chinese capital of Beijing, pushing air quality indexes literally off the charts and inciting widespread outrage both on-line and off. Pollution—and the outcry surrounding it—has...

Media

01.30.13

Chinese Web Erupts With Widespread Calls for Change as Beijing Endures Airpocalypse 2.0

Beijingers are choking on their air—again. Just seventeen days after Chinese cyberspace erupted with complaints about air so bad that it was “beyond index,” denizens of the Chinese capital awoke once again to a city blanketed with smog. Over the...

China’s Pollution: The Birth Defect Angle

James Fallows
Atlantic
There are persistent rumors that the horrendous pollution in China has led to a huge increase such births in China. 

Environment

01.23.13

U.S. Cities Suffer Impact of Downwind Chinese Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
Around 9,000 feet up, on a remote mountaintop in the state of Oregon, a group of researchers are on the lookout. It is not planes or wildlife they are tracking but pollution clouds.The monitoring site is run by Dan Jaffe, professor of atmospheric...

China Pledges to Curb Auto Emissions, Reduce Air Pollution

David Pierson
Los Angeles Times
The Ministry of Environmental Protection pledged to cut vehicle emissions, the source of about a quarter of China's air pollution, but didn't explain implementation plans. ...

One Nation Under Smog: Rules for Beijing Living

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The following will sound like a joke, but I’m sorry to say it’s not: the filters for our air purifying machines are so expensive that we get ours under the table. 

Environment

01.15.13

We’re Winning the Air Pollution Data Battle—So What Next?

from chinadialogue
Last year, China made a breakthrough in the publication of air quality data, as more than sixty cities started to monitor and publish levels of the dangerous air pollutant PM2.5. But the figures themselves were depressing. With PM2.5—fine...

China Allows Media to Report on Air Pollution Crisis

Edward Wong
New York Times
The wide coverage of Beijing’s brown, soupy air, which has been rated “hazardous” or worse by monitors since last week, was the most open in recent memory.

Environmental Stocks Surge on China’s Smog Pollution Fears

William Kazer and Li Yue
Wall Street Journal
While Beijing struggled with pollution, prices of environmental protection stocks surged as investors bought stocks that could rise if policymakers say “enough.” 

Breathing in Beijing: Coping with China’s Smog

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Were the Chinese cement industry a country, it would be the sixth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world.

Environment

01.07.13

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

from 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...

Environment

06.11.12

The Diplomacy of Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
On June 5, World Environment Day, China’s environment ministry published its annual “state of the environment” report as normal. But this year, the launch attracted unusual levels of attention thanks to a statement from vice minister Wu...

Sinica Podcast

01.13.12

Year-End Roundup

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
It was the year of the housing market (up then down), Ai Weiwei’s imprisonment, Wukan, the Wenzhou train crash, air pollution, gutter oil, tainted milk, clenbuterol, China bulls and bears, government transparency, the soaring price of Maotai, Guo...

Sinica Podcast

12.06.11

The Soul of Beijing

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Today, we’re pleased to share a special live edition of Sinica recorded last Saturday at Capital M in Beijing. Held to a standing-room only crowd, we talked all about our ongoing love-hate relationship with Beijing, and asked what on earth is...

Reports

03.11.11

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: Urumqi District Heating Project

World Bank
The city of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in westernmost China, is experiencing rapid urbanization and economic growth, which poses challenges to Urumqi Municipal Government in providing adequate and efficient public...