China Builds World’s Biggest Solar Farm in Journey to Become Green Superpower

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Vast plant in Qinghai province is part of China’s determination to transform itself from climate change villain to a green energy colossus

China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation

China’s Oil Collapse Is Unintentionally Helping OPEC

Bloomberg
OPEC’s campaign to prop up oil prices is getting unlikely support from its biggest customer.

China Wants to Be a Climate Change Watchdog, but Can It Lead by Example?

Edward Wong
New York Times
Like some other nations, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has refused to accept international monitoring of its emissions and says it will provide data to outside observers.

Don’t Blame the Weather For China’s Smog

Junfeng Zhang
Fortune
China’s air quality has been particularly bad so far this winter. Severe smog or haze episodes have occurred one after another with short breaks in between,

China to Plow $361 Billion into Renewable Fuel by 2020

Josephine Mason
Reuters
China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country's energy agency said on Thursday, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner...

Conversation

12.30.16

Rex Tillerson at State: What Will He Mean for U.S.-China Relations?

Barbara A. Finamore, Shen Dingli & more
On December 13, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced the selection of ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. We asked ChinaFile contributors to respond to the choice with a specific focus on how Tillerson...

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

Step Inside China’s Hellish, Illicit Steel Factories

Laura Mallonee
Wired
Kevin Frayer's photographs of illegal Chinese steel factories look like postcards from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution ...

China Rises to Challenge of Battling Climate Change

Wang Tao & Yang Fuqiang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
With the U.S. leadership role in the fight against climate change now being called into question, China has found itself in the unique position of being a global leader of the cause. In this podcast, nonresident Carnegie-Tsinghua scholar Wang Tao...

China Chokes on Smog So Bad that Planes Can't Land

John Bacon
USA Today
Major cities across northern China choked Monday under a blanket of smog so thick that industries were ordered shut down and air and ground traffic was disrupted

China Has Made Strides in Addressing Air Pollution, Environmentalists Say

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
Ma Jun, the director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, says transparency is up and pollution is down

Environment

12.13.16

Chinese Consumers Adopt Greener Lifestyle

from chinadialogue
For the last two years, Helen Ni has hosted low-carbon technology workshops for local kids and their parents. The informal gatherings take place at her ground-floor apartment in the Shanghai suburb of Minhang, close to Jiaotong University, one of...

China Riot Police Seal Off City Center After Smog Protestors Put Masks on Statues

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Clampdown in Chengdu after protesters place masks on statues in anger at air pollution choking the city

Going Green in China, Where Climate Change Isn’t Considered a Hoax

Matthew Kahn
Salon
Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation's cities...

China is Outsourcing Its Pollution

Kara Sherwin
Foreign Policy
Beijing's diplomacy is increasingly green, but its international trade is getting ever more coal-black...

Through Climate Change Denial, We’re Ceding Global Leadership to China

Daniel Gardner
Los Angeles Times
Remember when China was the climate change outcast? What a difference a few years — and an election — can make

China Stands to Gain from OPEC Deal

Brian Spegele
Wall Street Journal
Output agreement could boost the country’s oil industry and reduce its reliance on Saudi crude

Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Desperate to deliver coal before power stations run out, China mobilizes trains and half-mile lines of trucks

China Risks Wasting $490 Billion on New Coal Plant, Say Campaigners

AFP
Guardian
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest

Conversation

11.21.16

Will China Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Sam Geall, Barbara A. Finamore & more
At a time when the world is looking to China and the United States, the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, to cooperate under the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015, will China now take the lead in fighting climate change?

China Tells Trump Climate Change is Not a Hoax

Jasper Scherer
Washington Post
Trump’s Twitter claim that China created the “concept of global warming” to undermine U.S. manufacturing has elicited a response from the Chinese government

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

All 33 Miners Trapped in China Coal Mine Found Dead

South China Morning Post
The State Administration of Work Safety ordered an investigation into the blast, adding that “those responsible must be strictly punished”

In a Rare Move, China Criticizes Trump Plan to Exit Climate Change Pact

Suelin Wong
Reuters
"I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends," China's veteran climate chief said...

Search Continues for 20 Miners Missing After Blast in China

Camila Domonoske
NPR
35 miners were working at the privately-owned Jinshangou mine when the explosion happened Monday morning; two escaped alive, and 13 have been confirmed dead

In China, It’s Always Greener on the Other Side

Matthew Kahn
Salon
China is making the difficult transition to cleaner energy, but their efforts will help mitigate climate change

Environment

10.25.16

China is Demanding Cleaner Shipping—So Should the Rest of the World

Barbara A. Finamore from chinadialogue
Last year, in response to growing awareness of severe air pollution problems in China’s coastal cities, the Chinese government adopted a ground-breaking program to cut pollution from ships. At its core is a commitment to reduce the sulfur content of...

Living in China’s Expanding Deserts

Josh Haner, Edward Wong, Derek Watkins...
New York Times
People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change

Environment

10.21.16

Will Chinese Money Transform Pakistan?

from chinadialogue
The development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has spurred debate in all quarters. Some perceive it as a form of neo-colonialism and criticize Pakistan’s government for promoting unethical business practices at the cost of ordinary...

As China Shifts From Exporter to Importer, Fortunes Change

Owen Guo and Neil Gough
New York Times
Daqing is home to China’s biggest oil field, and the city’s troubles reflect a broader reality for the country: Once a major exporter of oil, China is now one of the world’s biggest net oil importers.

Environment

10.17.16

Green Growth Could Boost China’s Economy Six-Fold

from chinadialogue
China’s economy could grow six-fold by 2050 with renewable energy accounting for 69 percent of national electricity supply if it transforms its energy system and increases efficiency across the industrial, transport, construction, and electricity...

Escaping China’s Parent Trap

Nisha Gopalan
Bloomberg
Think Chinese SOEs' have little incentive to stray beyond China? That's far from the case. Just look at Britain's utilities...

Chinese Aid is Helping African Economies, but Not in the Places that Need it Most

Bradley Parks et al.
Washington Post
New data shows that Chinese projects are disproportionately sited in the home towns of African leaders

U.S., China Said to Discuss Choking Off North Korean Energy

Kambiz Foroohar and Ting Shi
Bloomberg
Talks involve restrictions on coal, iron ore and crude oil

China Tops WHO List for Deadly Outdoor Air Pollution

Adam Vaughan
Guardian
More than 1 million people died from dirty air in one year

China’s Coal Cap Will Bite

David Fickling
Bloomberg
Can the shift to more domestic output be met without blanketing China's cities in smog?...

US and China Release Fossil Fuel Subsidy Peer Reviews

Karl Mathiesen
Guardian
With public assessment of their subsidies, China and the US take a big step on transparency, but inch forward on reform

Depth of Field

09.12.16

African Migrants in Guangzhou, Forgetting, Family Planning’s Fate, and More...

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Photographing the aftermath of catastrophic events is challenging—one that photographer Mu Li handles with creativity and grace looking back at the chemical explosion in Tianjin that damaged as many as 17,000 homes August 12, 2015. Another challenge...

Conversation

09.01.16

What Can We Expect from China at the G20?

Sophie Richardson, Joanna Lewis & more
On September 4-5, heads of the world’s major economies will meet in the southeastern city of Hangzhou for the G20 summit. The meeting represents “the most significant gathering of world leaders in China’s history,” according to The New York Times...

FBI Files Say China Firm Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets

David Voreacos and David McLaughlin
Bloomberg
Summaries of the consultants’ interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were filed this month.

China’s Coal Towns Are Literally Sinking

Scott Cendrowski
Fortune
Hundreds of thousands are being moved from regions made unsafe from coal companies.

Australia Rejects Bids From Chinese Investors for Electricity Provider

Neil Gough
New York Times
Local wariness toward China’s growing economic influence has risen amid a wave of Chinese takeovers of Australian businesses.

China Power Plant Blast Kills At Least 21

Michael Martina
Reuters
Deadly accidents are relatively common at industrial plants in China, and anger over lax standards is growing.

Greenpeace Warns Over China’s Excess Power Capacity

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Overcapacity is dogging swathes of Chinese industry, including steel and petrochemicals, stifling profitability and damaging the environment.

Conversation

07.12.16

China’s Claims in the South China Sea Rejected

Andrew S. Erickson, Peter Dutton & more
On Tuesday in the Hague, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s claims that a scattering of rocks and reefs in the contested South China Sea qualify as Exclusive Economic Zones for China. The court found in favor of the Philippines’...

Environment

07.06.16

China-Backed Hydropower Project Could Disturb a Sensitive Siberian Ecosystem

from Rivers without Boundaries
Lake Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and affects the regional climate of North Asia and the Arctic Basin. The lake is home to 2,500 aquatic species and local communities in Mongolia and Russia revere the lake as the “...

China To Generate a Quarter of Electricity From Wind Power By 2030

Arthur Neslen
Guardian
China prides itself on being the world’s wind energy leader by a wide margin.....

China’s Last Wild River Carries Conflicting Environmental Hopes

Edward Wong
New York Times
With global temperatures rising, can China afford to protect its rivers and forgo an alternative to the coal-fired plants responsible for much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions?

China Coalminers Seek New Debt Terms

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Some of China’s largest state-owned coalminers are asking banks to relax payment terms on loans, as a profound slump in prices devastates China’s coal heartland.

China Climate Goals Trigger Launch of New Derivatives

Kathy Chen
Reuters
China’s clean energy pledges are prompting a supply of new financing tools to fund the estimated $6.53 trillion needed to switch from heavy, polluting industries to clean projects.

Conversation

05.16.16

Escalation in the South China Sea

Julian G. Ku, M. Taylor Fravel & more
International tensions are rising over the shipping lanes and land formations in the South China Sea. Last week, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force scrambled fighter jets in response to a U.S. Navy ship sailing near the disputed Fiery Cross Reef...

Environment

05.13.16

Why China's Nuclear Exports May Struggle to Find a Market

from chinadialogue
China’s nuclear power industry has eyed up a big push to export its technologies as countries around the world consider low-carbon alternatives to coal.But despite an increasingly clearer field for Chinese nuclear exports—mainly because of the woes...

Depth of Field

04.29.16

April’s Best Chinese Photojournalism

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
Over the past few weeks, the publications Sina, Tencent, Caixin, China Youth Daily, and the publishing duo Sixth Tone/The Paper published photo stories on the intimate, the industrial, the private, and the political. Journalists Yan Cong and Ye Ming...

World's Steel Makers To China: Time To Cut The Glut

Marilyn Geewax
NPR
The "excess" production is causing such a crisis for the global steel industry that U.S. is joining an international push to try to cut the glut...

Caixin Media

04.18.16

Chinese Electric Vehicle Manufacturer BYD’s Image Hurt by Scandal Involving Dealer’s Suicide

China’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD Auto Co., is under intense scrutiny following the death of a Nanjing auto dealer who accused the company of bilking a government subsidy program and a Caixin probe suggesting the charge may have...

Environment

04.08.16

China Pulls Emergency Stop on Coal Power Construction

from chinadialogue
China’s central government has ordered local authorities to delay or cancel construction of new coal-fired power plants, as regulators attempt to reduce a glut in capacity, just one year after decisions were delegated to the provinces.The National...

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...