Conversation

03.11.16

Is China Doing Enough for the Environment?

Deborah Seligsohn, Angel Hsu & more
This week, at their biggest annual session in Beijing, Chinese lawmakers are expected to ratify the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which contains many new measures to address rampant pollution of the country’s air, soil, and water. Will the plan be...

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,...

Green Space

01.14.16

Waking the Green Tiger

This documentary—available in full on ChinaFile throughout January courtesy of filmmaker Gary Marcuse—follows a group of environmental activists trying to prevent the construction of dams on the Nu (Salween) and the Upper Yangtze (Jinsha) rivers in...

Conversation

12.23.15

China in 2016

Andrew J. Nathan, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian & more
What should China watchers be watching most closely in China in 2016? What developments would be the most meaningful? What predictions can be made sensibly?

Another Kind of Climate Change: China Warms to Superpower Role

ANDREW BROWNE
Wall Street Journal
Paris talks gave a whiff of Beijing’s ambitions to lead—but critics fear that could upend status quo.

China to Receive $300m Loan to Combat Pollution Levels

BBC
The ADB said that poor air quality had reached such a serious level that it was "jeopardising health and sustainable growth".

Polluted Skies Heighten Challenge for Chinese Government

EDWARD WONG
New York Times
Red has been considered the color of prosperity and good fortune in China for centuries, and it is also the color of the Communist Party.

Beijing Issues Air Pollution Red Alert for the First Time

Bloomberg
Beijing issued its most severe smog warning for Tuesday.

China Plans to Upgrade Coal Plants

EDWARD WONG
New York Times
China's cabinet announced that it would try to cut pollution from coal-fired power plants by 60 percent by 2020 through upgrades to plants.

China's Blast of Fresh Air Quiets Calls for Beijing Mayor's Head

Bloomberg
A cold front that swept choking smog from northern China couldn’t have come sooner for Beijing’s mayor.

China Decries Shenyang Pollution Called 'Worst Ever' by Activists

BBC
On Sunday pollution readings were about 50 times higher than that considered safe by the World Health Organization.

U.S., China Least Concerned About Climate Change

Agence France-Presse
China and the United States are the world's biggest polluters, but their residents are among the least concerned about the harms of climate change.

China Underreporting Coal Consumption by Up to 17%, Data Suggests

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Revelation may mean China has emitted close to a billion additional tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

Reports

11.04.15

Special Data Release with Revisions for People’s Republic of China

International Energy Agency
In September 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics of China published China’s energy statistics for 2013, as well as revised statistics for the years 2000 to 2012. NBS supplied the IEA with detailed energy balances for 2011 to 2013 and using these...

This Is Where China’s Future Will Be Decided

Matt O'Brien
Washington Post
Lanzhou, China — The first thing you notice is the dust.

'Hunting' for China at the Democratic Debate

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
Jim Webb wanted to talk China.The rest of the candidates? Not so much.

Seven Dead, 223 Injured as Tornadoes Brought by Typhoon Mujigae Ravage China’s Guangdong Province

Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Mujigae was the strongest typhoon to make landfall in at least six decades.

Media

09.28.15

What’s China’s Mood Under Xi? New Data Gives a Glimpse

David Wertime
China, under the presidency of Xi Jinping, has invited a number of breathless pronouncements about the state of the country. Chinese media regularly conjure the “Chinese Dream,” one of Xi’s favored phrases, which means whatever readers want it to...

Enacting Cap-and-Trade Will Present Challenges Under China’s System

CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
White House officials have lauded President Xi Jinping's anticipated promise of a national market for China in greenhouse gas quotas.

Conversation

09.22.15

Xi Jinping’s Message to America

Taisu Zhang, Graham Webster & more
China’s President Xi Jinping addressed an audience of more than 700 American businesspeople in Seattle on Tuesday evening on the first stop on his first state visit to the United States. Regular ChinaFile Contributors who watched the speech offer...

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...

China's Pollution Quagmire

Jeff McMahon
Forbes
China’s efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an expert on Chinese climate and energy policy said.

China’s Rapidly Changing Views on Wildlife Conservation in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
A dramatic shift in Chinese public opinion about animal welfare and global wildlife conservation appears to be underway. Supported by high-profile celebrity campaigns by NBA legend Yao Ming and actress Li Bing Bing, there is growing awareness in...

Iron Ore Plunges 10pc Amid Extended China Market Route

Jasmine Ng
Australian Financial Review
Iron ore retreated to the lowest level in at least six years as a rout in China's stock markets threatened to hurt demand just as the biggest producers plan to raise output.

China’s Proposed Ivory Ban: Breakthrough or B.S.?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s surprise announcement that it will phase out the trade and manufacturing of ivory came as a rare piece of good news for Africa’s rapidly shrinking elephant population. While most major international wildlife groups welcomed Beijing’s new...

China Issues Guideline for Eco-Friendly Development

Xinhua
Safeguarding the environment lags China’s economic status—limited resources and severe pollution preventing sustainable growth.

Books

04.30.15

Fantasy Islands

Julie Sze
The rise of China and its status as a leading global factory are altering the way people live and consume. At the same time, the world appears wary of the real costs involved. Fantasy Islands probes Chinese, European, and American eco-desire and eco-technological dreams, and examines the solutions they offer to environmental degradation in this age of global economic change.Uncovering the stories of sites in China, including the plan for a new eco-city called Dongtan on the island of Chongming, mega-suburbs, and the Shanghai World Expo, Julie Sze explores the flows, fears, and fantasies of Pacific Rim politics that shaped them. She charts how climate change discussions align with U.S. fears of China’s ascendancy and the related demise of the American Century, and she considers the motives of financial and political capital for eco-city and ecological development supported by elite power structures in the U.K. and China. Fantasy Islands shows how ineffectual these efforts are while challenging us to see what a true eco-city would be. —University of California Press{chop}

China’s Controversial Trade in Africa’s Natural Resources

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
China often faces blistering criticism for its voracious appetite for Africa’s natural resources. Chinese companies are spread across the continent mining, logging, and fishing to feed both hungry factories and people back home. In most, if not all...

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...

Can the US and China Save the World?

Shannon Tiezzi
Diplomat
The Department of Commerce emphasized Obama's commitment to fighting climate change through clean energy development.

Reports

04.01.15

Can Carbon Taxes be Good for China and the United States?

Antung Anthony Liu
Paulson Institute
One way that China may meaningfully control its emissions is through the recent idea of a national carbon permit trading system, building on its carbon permit pilot programs. In China’s case, the internal debate about promulgating these actions...

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

03.11.15

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

03.04.15

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...

Reports

03.04.15

A Vital Partnership

Asia Society
As the two largest global emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States share the challenge of transforming each of their current fossil fuel–based energy systems into clean twenty-first-century energy systems that remain cornerstones of...

Conversation

03.03.15

Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet?

Angel Hsu, Michael Zhao & more
[Updated: March 6,  2015] Our friends at Foreign Policy hit the nail on the head by headlining writer Yiqin Fu's Monday story "China's National Conversation about Pollution Has Finally Begun." What happened? Well, in the...

Reports

02.25.15

Double Impact

Valerie J. Karplus
Paulson Institute
This paper makes the case for establishing a national CO2 price in China as soon as possible. End-of-pipe pollution control technologies—a core component of China’s Air Pollution Action Plan (APAP)—can address local air pollution but not CO2...

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...

Vets Battle to save Stricken Panda in Shaanxi

Huang Zhiling
China Daily
Vets are racing to treat a 5-year-old panda diagnosed with canine distemper at the Shaanxi Rare Wildlife Rescue and Breeding Research Center.

China Might Be Killing Off a Pikachu-Like Animal For No Reason

Kayla Ruble
Vice News
The animated yellow rodent-like character, Pikachu, from the Pokémon video game and TV franchise, is not a total work of fiction. In fact, many believe the creature is based off of a small mousey animal found in China known as a pika.

Reports

01.06.15

Rebalancing China’s Energy Strategy

Damien Ma
Paulson Institute
At a high-level meeting of China’s top finance and economics body in June 2014, President Xi Jinping called for a sweeping energy revolution in China, centered on five areas: demand, production, technology, institutional governance, and global...

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...

China’s Coal Use Actually Falling Now (For the First Time this Century)

Lauri Myllyvirta
Greenpeace
The data suggests the world's largest economy is finally starting to radically slow down its emission growth, and it comes ahead of key talks next year on a new global climate and energy deal.

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...

Cameroon’s Illegal Timber Finds a Market in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Cameroon’s rain forests are rapidly vanishing due to widespread corruption, according to a new report from Greenpeace Africa. The environmental activist group alleges that much of the illegally-harvested timber from Cameroon ends up in China where...

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

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

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

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...

Media

02.03.14

‘Chicken Fart Decade’: GDP Vs. Smog

Chinese media have debated why January saw pollution so extreme it closed schools and airports, chased away foreign tourists, and even prompted a ban on Lunar New Year’s fireworks. It’s likely that a substantial portion of this smog is caused by...

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

01.15.14

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...

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

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

12.12.13

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

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...