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Greenlaw from NRDC China’s Blog

China Environmental News Alert

Greenlaw from NRDC China

Posted February 14, 2014

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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.

February 9 - 14, 2014

China to reward cities and regions making progress on air pollution
New York Times (February 13, 2014)
Chinese officials announced Thursday that they were offering a total of 10 billion renminbi, or $1.65 billion, this year to cities and regions that make “significant progress” in air pollution control, according to a report by Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

Pollution making Beijing hazardous place to live, says Chinese report
The Guardian (February 13, 2014)
Severe pollution in Beijing has made the Chinese capital "barely suitable" for living, according to an official Chinese report, as the world's second largest economy tries to reduce often hazardous levels of smog caused by decades of rapid growth. Pollution is a rising concern for China's stability-obsessed leaders, keen to douse potential unrest as affluent city dwellers turn against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has tainted much of the country's air, water and soil.

As U.S. aims for energy independence, China heads the opposite way
New York Times (February 13, 2014)
President Barack Obama told Americans in his State of the Union address last month that thanks to increased natural gas production and conservation, the country was closer to energy independence than it had been ”in decades.” That’s not something you’ll be hearing from Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, anytime soon: China’s reliance on imported oil is rising fast, according to a new study by a government research institute.

Hong Kong’s air quality to ‘drastically improve’ within five years, says Christine Loh
South China Morning Post (February 11, 2014)
Hong Kong's air quality will show "dramatic improvement" over the next five years, says undersecretary for the environment Christine Loh Kung-wai. And she predicts that reductions in pollution should start being measured by the second half of this year. In her most confident pledge so far on the fight for cleaner air, Loh told the South China Morning Post the city is well on target to achieve landmark goals - such as a 20 per cent reduction in sulphur emissions - before 2020.

U.S. may impose China solar duty in threat to installers
Bloomberg (February 14, 2014)
The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to rule today on a complaint that’s intended to protect the U.S. solar industry and may hinder more companies than it helps. The commission is set to make a preliminary decision on whether solar products imported from Taiwan and China harmed U.S. producers, a protectionist strategy sought by a U.S. panel manufacturer that’s part of the industry’s slowest-growing segment.
China sets 2014 installation limits for solar power subsidies
Bloomberg (February 12, 2014)
China, the world’s biggest solar market, set a national limit of 14 gigawatts for solar power capacity addition this year to be eligible for subsidies. Within the limit, the country set quotas for individual provinces based on local resources and the grid’s ability to handle the additional power, according to a statement on the National Energy Administration’s website. Projects exceeding a region’s quota won’t get subsidy.

US consumers outsource carbon emissions to China
Huffington Post (February 13, 2014)
It sounds like a rare piece of good news about climate change: emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal cause of global warming, grew at a slower rate after 2000 in the United States, and have actually dropped since 2007. In Europe the story sounds even better, as overall emissions dropped from 1990 to 2008, often roughly matching, or in some cases exceeding, the reductions promised under the Kyoto Protocol. Yet the apparent progress on emission reductions in rich countries has occurred at a time of widespread outsourcing of manufacturing to China and other developing countries. In the process, we have effectively outsourced our carbon emissions as well. If consumers are responsible for the emissions from making the consumer goods they buy, then we have not solved the problem. We have just made it harder to see - and much harder to measure.

China's Plan to Clean Up Air in Cities Will Doom the Climate, Scientists Say
Inside Climate News (February 13, 2014)China is erecting huge industrial complexes in remote areas to convert coal to synthetic fuel that could make the air in its megacities cleaner. But the complexes use so much energy that the carbon footprint of the fuel is almost double that of conventional coal and oil, spelling disaster for earth's climate, a growing chorus of scientists is warning.  

Jackie Chan: Chinese attitudes to illegal wildlife products are changing
The Guardian (February 13, 2014)
Chinese attitudes towards buying illegal wildlife products such as rhino horn and ivory are undergoing a "big change", according to Jackie Chan. The action film star, who was born in China and lives in Hong Kong for much of the year, said that although he had eaten shark fin soup and used tiger bone as a young man, he now wanted to end the demand in Asia that is fuelling the killing of wildlife in Africa. People in China, the world's biggest market for ivory and other illegal wildlife parts, had turned against the products in the past five years, he told the Guardian.
Seoul joins Beijing in pollution battle
Wall Street Journal (February 4, 2014)
Seoul’s concerns about air pollution are leading to a crackdown on two of South Korea’s trademark activities: barbeques and spas. The city government said it plans to control restaurants that specialize in grilled meat and communal bathhouses for air pollution and will also subsidize filter installations at these businesses from next year. The proposed measures are part of the city’s larger plan to curb the level of pollutants in the atmosphere, which has risen sharply, in large part because of pollutants blown in from heavily-industrialized northeastern China and fast desertifying Mongolia, according to experts.

(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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