China Environmental News Alert
Posted August 8, 2013 in Greening China
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.
August 3 - 8, 2013
Environmental Investigation Agency (August 6, 2013)
Last week, EIA campaigners were at an international workshop on the conservation of tigers and other wildlife, held in Kunming, China.
The good news from Kunming is that EIA and our allies were able to ensure that the outcome of the workshop focused on effective enforcement and demand-elimination.
Some presentations during the workshop argued that tigers can only be saved by legalising the trade in tiger parts and products; can you imagine legalising the very reason for which tigers continue to be slaughtered in one of the world’s most populous as well as fastest-growing economies, with increasing disposable incomes?
IDG News Service (August 4, 2013)
Local authorities in China are investigating two electronics suppliers linked with Apple and also reportedly HTC of dumping heavy metals in the country’s rivers after watchdog groups accused them of damaging the environment.
Last week, five Chinese environmental groups issued a report claiming that factories of Foxconn Technology Group and Unimicron Technology had been polluting rivers in the country’s Taihu basin, where the cities of Shanghai and Kunshan are located.
Bloomberg (August 5, 2013)
China’s State Oceanic Administration was sued for misconduct in allowing ConocoPhilips to resume operations in Bohai Bay after a 2011 oil spill, the state-run Global Times reported, citing a lawyer for the plaintiff.
The case against the State Oceanic Administration is being brought by the All-China Environment Federation, a government supported civil-society organization, the newspaper reported yesterday.
South China Morning Post (August 6, 2013)
It is probably the oldest recorded ecological comment in the world. Some 2,300 years ago the Chinese philosopher Meng Zi, known in the West as Mencius, noted the impact of human activity on the natural world around him.
He wrote: "The woods on Ox Mountain were once beautiful. Because they were on the edge of a large country, they have been attacked with axes and hatchets, so how could they remain beautiful? … People seeing its denuded state assume that it never had been otherwise, endowed with rich resources. Yet how can this state be the true nature of this mountain?"
The Atlantic (August 6, 2013)
When I visited Mr. Liang's LED factory in Zhejiang, I saw a building with so many machines that it made my head whirl. I asked Mr. Liang about how he thought his factory was doing with respect to huanbao: in Chinese, the term huanbao means both the act of being environmentally friendly and the state of environmental protection. Despite the heavy electricity usage of the factory and some heavy chemicals used in manufacturing the process, Mr. Liang told me: "We only use electricity, our products are RoHS certified, and we don't pollute into the water or air, therefore, we're huanbao."
Xinhua (August 6, 2013)
Areas across China have been tested by extreme weather, including heat, drought and flooding, this summer.
After sweating through the hottest July on record, Shanghai upgraded its daily high-temperature alert from orange to red, the highest on the country's three-tiered color-coded heat alert system, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, as the weather forecast showed a high of 40 degrees Celsius.
China’s lust for ivory isn’t just slaughtering elephants. It’s also destabilizing Africa
Quartz (August 7, 2013)
Hong Kong customs officials just confiscated a Nigerian shipment of 1,120 elephant tusks—part of a haul of rhino horns and leopard pelts that totaled around $5.3 million in value. In July, HK customs seized 1,148 tusks worth $2.3 million in a shipment from Togo, and confiscated another 780 tusks worth $1.14 million back in January.
Quartz (August 7, 2013)
In China’s free-for-all of corporate pollution, foreign companies may pale in comparison to state-owned enterprises. But they’re hardly squeaky clean, as three separate water pollution incidents involving Foxconn, ConocoPhillips and BMW show. And, as the high-profile lawsuits, media coverage and official commentary surrounding these cases show, that makes them easy targets for a Communist Party struggling to convince a skeptical public that it’s serious about the environment.
Life in a Toxic Country
NY Times (August 3, 2013)
I recently found myself hauling a bag filled with 12 boxes of milk powder and a cardboard container with two sets of air filters through San Francisco International Airport. I was heading to my home in Beijing at the end of a work trip, bringing back what have become two of the most sought-after items among parents here, and which were desperately needed in my own household.
China’s abandoned steel mills are a threat to public health
Chinadialogue (August 8, 2013)
China’s steel industry has been in trouble since 2011, with numerous bankruptcies nationwide. The city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been no exception. Though the city is Hebei’s biggest steel maker, with its 70 million tonnes of annual production accounting for almost half of the provincial total and 10% of national output, it too has seen many of its smaller or medium-sized steel firms close or teeter on the edge of bankruptcy. Though this has obvious economic and social consequences, the most enduring cost may be environmental.
(CENA prepared by Jack Maher)
* 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.
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