China Environmental News Alert
Posted May 2, 2013
April 26, 2013- May 2, 2013
NRDC has been working in China for over fifteen years on such issues as energy efficiency, green buildings, clean energy technologies, environmental law, and green supply chain issues. This China Environmental News Alert is a compilation of news from around the world on China and the environment.
Will 'white pollution' reappear in China?
Global Times (May 2, 2013)
China is lifting a ban on the use of disposable foam plastic tableware (DFPT) on May 1, after forbidding the production and use of the products in the country for more than 14 years, Chinanews.com reports. The move has triggered public controversy over concerns that "white pollution" will reappear and the change will raise additional food safety issues. Environmentalists say that questions surrounding the safety of the use of foam plates and the damage it may cause to the environment remain a concern. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was lifting the ban because the standard of DFPT met the national food-packaging standard, and the recycling system and common use of foam tableware in other countries justified its continued use. The NDRC also said using DFPT could conserve oil resources.
Coal emerges as 'Cinderella" at China's energy ball
Financial Times (May 1, 2013)
Confronted by an external oil dependency rate that exceeds 55% alongside intensifying popular demands to reduce its high carbon emissions, China is investing heavily in alternative forms of energy. With high extraction costs limiting the ability of shale gas to play a meaningful role in the nation’s power supply equation any time soon, the country has turned its attention towards finding ways of more efficiently and cleanly extracting energy from the fuel source it is famous for: coal.
Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2013)
Chinese drivers are pushing up demand for gasoline in the world's largest energy consumer, increasing the automotive fuel's share of consumption as diesel use plateaus. The shift to gasoline reflects government efforts in the world's second-largest economy to focus on domestic consumption to drive economic growth, while slowing export-oriented industrial production is limiting diesel demand growth.
China's renewable energy surge triggers anti-dumping action
The Sydney Morning Herald (May 1, 2013)
The country that is the world's largest investor in clean energy was dragged into yet another investigation into the subsidies it provides last week. The European Commission initiated an anti-subsidy probe into imports of solar glass from China, based on a complaint by lobby group EU ProSun Glass. "Under trade defence rules, the EU could impose provisional anti-subsidy duties within nine months if it considers these necessary," the Brussels-based Commission said in a statement. Imports of solar panels are already under investigation by the European Commission, and US duties on panel imports from China came into force in 2012.
The Japan Times (April 30, 2013)
China is rapidly assuming a global leadership role on climate change alongside the U.S., a new study said Monday, but it warned greenhouse gas emissions worldwide continue to rise strongly. The report by the independent Australian-based Climate Commission, "The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change," presents an overview of action in the past nine months.
Design Build Source (April 30, 2013)
Despite increasingly severe pollution in its urban centres, China continues to lag in the application of sustainability measures in its construction sector, with only a minute number of projects in the country obtaining green building certification and even fewer living up to their accreditation requirements. The Chinese press is rife with reports of ecological disaster resulting from the country’s breakneck economic growth and air pollution levels have hit hazardous heights in key cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Despite this, China has thus far failed to fully embrace green building as a potential remedy for its environmental woes.
Lessons from China's Emerging Sustainable Cities
Environmental Leader (April 29, 2013)
Take a tour of China’s fast-growing megacities and you’re likely to come away astonished. Those of us who joined Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s historic trade and investment delegation last week were struck by the sheer size and rapid scale of development in dozens of cities, from Beijing and Shanghai to Huangzhou and Guangzhou. But a closer look, past the infamous veil of air pollution, reveals a lesser-known reality with incredible potential: China’s vast efforts to build sustainable, low-carbon cities from the ground up and to massively retrofit existing ones.
Nano-fiber center to boost China's green economy
China Daily (April 27, 2013)
The Global Innovation Center for Nano-Fiber Application, or GICNA, was established in Beijing Saturday as a co-operational platform for low-carbon technologies in a bid to spur nano-tech application in the country's green development. The move came as an answer to China's growing call for technological innovations in green environmental initiatives. The country has faced pressure due to environmental and natural resources deterioration amid ongoing industrialization and urbanization.
How green buildings can help lower price of electricity
South China Morning Post (April 30, 2013)
This year is proving critical in the shaping of a future electricity market for Hong Kong. While the government will soon review the scheme of control agreements with the city's two power companies, an inter-departmental steering committee has been established to map out strategies for green building development. Buildings consume 90 per cent of our overall electricity, and green buildings are seen as a silver bullet to reform the Hong Kong electricity market; they help save energy and ease the tension that exists between environmental protection and electricity prices. Research shows green buildings could help cut electricity tariffs.
(CENA prepared by Jack Marzulli)
The links and article summaries in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Natural Resources Defense Council.