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...

Worse Than Poisoned Water: Dwindling Water, in China’s North

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
When 39 tons of the toxic chemical aniline spilled from a factory in Changzhi in China’s Shanxi province at the end of December, polluting drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people downstream along the Zhuozhang River and dangerously...



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...

Five Predictions for China’s Auto Industry in the Year of the Snake

Michael Dunne
Wall Street Journal
In 2012, Chinese accounted for more than three out of four Buicks sold globally.  And many of the design elements of the current Buick lineup originated in China.

China Says 14 Protestors Plead Guilty to Encouraging Mass Riot Against Polluting Project

Associated Press
Fourteen people pleaded guilty to encouraging a riot in eastern China last year where scores of police were hurt and the local Communist Party chief was stripped half-naked in a mass protest that ultimately forced the scrapping of a wastewater...



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 Burns Half of Coal Consuption Worldwide, US Figures Show

Adam Vaughn
US government figures shows that China overtook the US as the world's biggest carbon emitter in 2007 and became world's largest energy consumer in 2010

In China, Discontent Among the Communist Party Faithful

Edward Wong
New York Times
Some Chinese say that they are starting to realize that a secure life is dependent on the defense of certain principles, perhaps most crucially freedom of expression.

Exposing the ‘Hazardous’ Pollution of Beijing

Jennifer Duggan
Al Jazeera
Cityscapes are part of a daily collection of photos of seven cities, four in China and three in the United States published on the website China Air Daily.



Officials Failing to Stop Textile Factories Dumping Waste in Qiantong River

from chinadialogue
The Qiantang River is the most important river in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, one of the country’s most developed regions. On its banks, textiles plants work to supply fashion labels around the world. But they are polluting the environment in...

Chemical Spill Pollutes Shanxi Politics

James T. Areddy
Wall Street Journal
After a chemical spill polluted north China waterways–and delays in reporting it raised the specter of an earlier cover-up–the problem is seeping into the political system.



China’s New “Middle Class” Environmental Protests

from chinadialogue
China’s urban residents (or the new “middle class”) protest on the streets only very rarely. Discontent is expressed almost exclusively online, via angry typing. But this has changed over the last five years—protests have come offline and on to the...



Stars in the Haze

Joshua Frank
Flying kites is the quintessential Chinese pastime. But “wind zithers” or “paper sparrow hawks,” as they are known in Chinese, also have a long history as tools. Over millennia, Chinese have used them for measuring the wind, gauging distances, and...

PM 2.5 Kills Thousands, Researchers Say

Wu Wencong
China Daily
An estimated 8,572 premature deaths occurred in four major Chinese cities this year due to high levels of pollution.

Caixin Media


Toxic Effects and Environmental Nondisclosure

High-profile talk emphasizing environmental action at the Communist Party’s 18th national congress attracted a lot of attention. News from the November proceedings spurred industry demands for more information and pushed stock prices higher for...



Overfishing Pushes 80% of Chinese Fishermen Towards Bankruptcy

from chinadialogue
In mid-September, the fishing season got under way as usual in Ningbo, on China’s east coast, after the three-month season when fishing is forbidden. Over 2,000 steel-hulled boats headed out to sea. But, on board, there was little cause for optimism...

Environmental Activism Gains a Foothold in China

Harold Thibault
The demonstrators gathered at dawn in Qidong, a small coastal town north of Shanghai. By noon, the local government headquarters were occupied and files were being thrown out of the windows. In the heat of the moment the party secretary's shirt...

Caixin Media


We Make It Pour, Declare Cloud-Seeders

Will it be clear or gray skies today? Increasingly, the answer in China may be decided by the government.The Chinese have been seeding clouds for decades. Airplanes equipped with rocket-launchers and chemicals for inducing rainfall are based in...



Data Gaps Hobble Carbon Trading

from chinadialogue
Late last October, China’s top economic planning body—the National Development and Reform Commission—instructed the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shenzhen, plus Hubei and Guangdong provinces, to get ready to run carbon-trading...

China in Europe: Buying Clean Tech

Xie Dan
Since Hanenergy announced that it was buying a subsidiary of German solar firm Q-cells, the Chinese company’s senior vice president Jason Chow has been fielding calls about further possible purchases. “Before they thought we weren’t serious, but now...



Protests Show Chinese Kids’ Fears

from chinadialogue
The decision to cancel the metal refinery project in Shifang last month after protesters clashed with the police has been widely reported in the Chinese and global media. This is not the first time a project has been shelved due to public...



Shifang: A Crisis of Local Rule

from chinadialogue
China has been engrossed in the mass protests in Shifang, Sichuan province, where on the morning of July 2, locals and police clashed during demonstrations against a planned molybdenum and copper refinery. The next day, the government announced a...

China's Unsafe Drinking Water

Gong Jing
Hurtling beneath the ground, there are sturdy new subways coursing through every major urban center of China like an electric current of modernity. The country's rapid urbanization in a matter of mere decades has produced engineering marvels...

Inner Mongolia: Mining the Grasslands

LOCAL legend has it that the beauty of the grasslands in Xilin Gol, a prefecture in eastern Inner Mongolia, so captivated the 13th-century warrior Genghis Khan that he planned to settle down there once his battles were over. He might be less...

Caixin Media


Fighting the Filth

Has the division of spoils from China’s rapid economic growth become a one-sided affair? The answer is less abstract when one considers the state of the nation’s environment.Waterways are barricaded by garbage, mountains gouged with dusty pits, and...

Bolder Protests Against Pollution Win Project’s Defeat in China

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China has long been known as a place where the world’s dirtiest mines and factories can operate with impunity. Those days may not be over, but a growing environmental movement is beginning to make the most polluting projects much harder to build and...



Dirty Truth about China’s Incinerators

from chinadialogue
Xie Yong could be called a pioneer. He is one of very few to date to sue a Chinese government agency over its unlawful refusal of requested data. His crusade for change has little to do with civic altruism, however. Xie’s struggle is personal in...

Sichuan City Suspends Factory Construction Following Protests

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
A municipal government in southwestern China has suspended at least temporarily the construction of a metals factory after bloody street protests on Monday, in the latest sign of the growing strength of the country’s environmental movement.

Review of Judith Shapiro’s “China’s Environmental Challenges”

Consolations at the End of the World
China’s environmental story is full of contradictions. What does one make of a country where the government severely limits the freedom of NGOs, yet has some of the most thorough environmental laws and most sustainably-minded leadership in the world...



Rio and China’s Global Future

from chinadialogue
We have a common predicament, and solving it requires humanity to work together. But state actors are, to a large degree, controlled by the confrontational logic of international politics. The dualities and contradictions common in sustainable...



Dirty Air and Succession Jitters Clouding Beijing’s Judgment

Stephen Oliver & Susan Shirk
Last week the Chinese government accused the U.S. Embassy and consulates of illegally interfering in China’s domestic affairs by publishing online hourly air-quality information collected from their own monitoring equipment. (While the critiques...



What’s Coming Out of China’s Taps

from chinadialogue
China’s urbanites use a lot of water. Every day, more than 4,000 water-treatment plants supply 60 million tons of water to 400 million people living in Chinese cities. Despite the impressive figures, the water industry is grappling with widespread...



Hot Air?

Michael Zhao
It has been a busy season for U.S. diplomatic activity in China. Given the tensions aroused by U.S. involvement in the Bo Xilai scandal and the flight of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, perhaps it should come as no surprise that even relatively...



A Story of Invisible Water

Lynn Zhang
A Story of Invisible Water examines the problem of water pollution and drought in the northeastern Chinese province of Hebei. Farmers in Xizhang village claim that for more than twenty years, local factories have polluted the groundwater they use...



Chinese Demand Stokes U.S. Coal Battle

Craig Simons
TRINIDAD, Colorado—When the New Elk mine reopened amid windblown prairies last winter, it attracted little attention. But the mine—a long shaft boring through some of the world’s most valuable coal—strikes at the heart of a growing debate about the...



China’s Rising Consumer Class Sparks Climate Change Fears

Craig Simons
TUOJIA VILLAGE, China—When you think about China’s growing greenhouse gas emissions, you probably don’t think of people like Zhang Chao or his father Zhang Dejun. Zhang Chao, a thirty-five-year-old middle school teacher living in small city in...



China’s Rise Creates Clouds of U.S. Pollution

Craig Simons
At more than 9,000 feet along the crest of Oregon’s Cascade mountain range, the top of this snow-covered peak normally enjoys some of America’s cleanest air. So when sensitive scientific instruments picked up ozone—the chief component of smog—at...



“My Children Have Been Poisoned”: A Public Health Crisis in Four Chinese Provinces

Human Rights Watch
Over the past decade, numerous mass lead poisoning incidents have been reported across China. In response, Environmental Protection Ministry officials have become more outspoken, directing local officials to increase supervision of factories and...



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...



Identifying Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in China

Jingjing Qian, George Peridas, Jason Chen, and Yueming Qiu
Sara Segal-Williams
Natural Resources Defense Council
To avoid the worst consequences of global warming, the world must limit average temperature increases by significantly reducing carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving the urgently needed emission reductions will require efforts beyond first-resort...



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...

Choking on Growth

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



NRDC Partners With China on Energy Efficiency

Natural Resources Defense Council
China has launched the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the world to reduce pollution and protect people's health. NRDC is working with key partners at the central and provincial level to help China achieve its ambitious energy...



Coal in a Changing Climate

Daniel A. Lashof, Duncan Delano, Jon Devine, Barbara Finamore, Debbie Hammel, David Hawkins, Allen Hershkowitz, Jack Murphy, JingJing Qian, Patrice Simms, Johanna Wald
Barbara A. Finamore
Natural Resources Defense Council
The current coal fuel cycle is among the most destructive activities on earth, placing an unacceptable burden on public health and the environment. There is no such thing as “clean coal.” As the two largest coal consumers, the United States and...