China Environmental News Alert
Posted July 19, 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.
July 15, 2013 - June 19, 2013
China has asked the European Union to help it tackle some of its most severe pollution problems, the EU's environment commissioner said on Thursday, underscoring Beijing's concerns about addressing a key source of social discontent. The European Union and China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, have frequently clashed over climate policy. But both sides recently agreed to cooperate, striking a deal last September to cut greenhouse gases through projects including the development of Chinese emissions trading schemes.
Public trust crisis threatens China's nuclear power ambitions
Reuters (July 18, 2013)
As China pushes an aggressive expansion of nuclear power it is running into a major stumbling block - a breakdown of trust, post-Fukushima, in official assurances of public safety. A plan to build a $6 billion uranium processing plant in the southern province of Guangdong was canceled this week after about a thousand people took to the streets demanding the project was scrapped over public health and environmental fears.
China’s Environment Minister Admits His Department Is Among The World’s Worst
In a surprisingly candid acknowledgment, China’s environment minister said, on Tuesday, that his ministry is of one of the world’s worst departments, but attributed its underperformance to its dependence on other several other government ministries. Environment minister Zhou Shengxian’s remarks come at a time when the government is facing heavy criticism from the public, particularly from urban residents, over severe air pollution in several cities across the country, including in the capital, Beijing.
A recent study asserting that a well-intentioned policy of distributing free coal in the winter could have cut China’s collective life expectancy by two and a half billion years has set off a vigorous debate in the media and drawn skeptical responses from Chinese government officials. Experts, for their part, have generally endorsed the research — with a few caveats.
China's Feud With West on Solar Leads to Tax
Escalating a long-simmering trade dispute with the West over solar panels, China plans to impose tariffs that could exceed 50 percent on a material it imports from the United States and South Korea to make the panels, its Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday. The decision, which goes into effect next week, is a blow to the American industry, which analysts say is China’s largest customer for solar-grade polysilicon, the main ingredient in solar panels.
One new provision in the second draft of China’s Amendment of Environmental Law has caught the public’s attention. According to the draft, an organization with deep government ties called the All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) will henceforth be the only organization allowed to file public interest lawsuits in cases of environmental pollution. Many in the environmental advocacy community have interpreted this provision of the law as an attempt to severely limit environmental public interest litigation in China.
Jiangsu seaweed farming linked to algae bloom in Qingdao
South China Morning Post (July 17, 2013)
A rapid expansion of seaweed farming in Jiangsu might be behind the annual "green tide" of algae that engulfs the popular seaside resort city of Qingdao each year, a study suggests. Qingdao, in Shandong province, has suffered a huge algael bloom every summer since 2008, when a massive clean-up had to be carried out as the city prepared to host sailing events for the Beijing Olympics. The outbreak in the Yellow Sea reached record levels this year, covering 28,000 square kilometres.
Beijing Set to Host China’s First Vertical Marathon
Wall Street Journal China RealTime Report (July 17, 2013)
Despite its reputation for harboring some of the world’s worst smog, Beijing is offering up its skies to host China’s first-ever vertical marathon. At 330 meters (1,082 feet) tall, the 82-floor China World Trade Center Tower 3 is a landmark office, hotel and retail behemoth jutting out of the heart of Beijing’s Central Business District. On August 3, the building will take on a new identity, transforming itself into the venue for a heart-pounding foot race up its 2041 stairs.
(CENA prepared by Michelle Ker)
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