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Greenlaw from NRDC China’s Blog

China Environmental News Alert

Greenlaw from NRDC China

Posted July 25, 2014

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China Environmental News Alert

July 18-25, 2014

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.

A Reassuring American Presence Joins Talks on Climate Change With China
New York Times (July 21, 2014)
The presence of John D. Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and now counselor to President Obama, at the recent United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing was a surprise. He is not a China expert. But the Chinese like old hands, aides with proximity to the Oval Office, and Mr. Podesta fills that bill. In addition, Mr. Podesta is passionate about climate change. He returned to the White House this year to help Mr. Obama fulfill his ambitious agenda to reduce coal consumption in the United States, and to shape a global climate treaty to be negotiated in Paris at the end of 2015. China’s leadership, faced with growing public anger over environmental pollution, is also moving toward curbing the use of coal.

China Coal Demand To Peak By 2020 - Standard & Poor
RTCC (July 22, 2014)
It bases the conclusions on the country’s GDP increasing by 7.4% and 7.2% in 2014 and 2015, with coal demand falling to single figures later this decade. “This is due to the slow shift of the economy toward consumption from capital investments; lower GDP growth; and the Chinese government’s increasing focus on tightening emission standards and moving to more renewable energy sources,” it says. “Other tangible factors include the low level of fresh water and lack of long-term quality coal resources.”

China's Planned Coal-To-Gas Plants To Emit Over One Billion Tons Of CO2
EnergyDesk (July 23, 2014)
There is a potential storm on the horizon of China’s energy policy: coal-to-gas.
There could be 50 coal-to-gas projects operational within the next decade, producing 225 billion cubic metres of synthetic natural gas [SNG] per year, if all of the planned ones go ahead, according to comprehensive new research by Greenpeace China. These 50 would emit around 1.087 billion tons of CO2 per year if they are developed, according to the new analysis. To put this in perspective, it is around one eighth of China’s CO2 emissions in 2011 (8.71 billion tons), and much more than the CO2 cuts from coal control measures by 2020 (655 million tons). If China builds all 50 coal-to-gas plants without carbon capture and storage, and isn’t prevented from doing so by a global climate deal, the world’s largest emitter of CO2 will put out a significant amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

China To Curb Blind Investment In Coal-To-Gas
Global Post (July 22, 2014) 
China's National Energy Administration (NEA) has told local authorities to curb irrational development of coal-to-oil and coal-to-gas projects, after new technology sparked an investment spree regardless of environmental and economic realities. The country will ban coal-to-gas projects with an annual output of no more than 2 billion cubic meters and coal-to-oil schemes that produce 1 million tonnes or less, according to an NEA document published on Tuesday. Projects larger than those will be subject to regulatory approval from the State Council, China's cabinet, the NEA said.

Even China And India Are More Efficient Than The U.S., A New Report Says
Global Post (July 22, 2014)
The United States ranks 13th out of the world's 16 largest economies when it comes to energy efficiency, according to a new report. Even China and India — two of the world's biggest polluters — fared better. The nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy looked at how the 16 economies, which account for 81 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 71 percent of its energy usage, fared in 31 areas covering policies like fuel economy standards and measures of performance.

Sustainability Concerns Behind China's Bumper Crop
People's Daily (July 18, 2014)
China reaped a record harvest this summer, but experts are nevertheless worried about growing water scarcity and soil degradation behind the agricultural success. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced earlier this week that the country's yields of summer grain crops, mainly wheat, grew 3.6 percent from last year to 136.6 million tonnes in 2014. It is the 11th consecutive year of grain output increases, largely thanks to favorable weather conditions that resulted in a higher per-unit yield of wheat, said NBS senior analyst Huang Jiacai. However, the feat cannot hide shortcomings in farming, including overuse of water, chemical fertilizer and excessive reclamation, in large parts of rural China, said Li Guoxiang, a rural development researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Environment "Priority" For Region
China Daily (July 23, 2014)
China remains a major driver for economic growth in Asia, but ecological and environmental issues still top the nation's major challenges, said Hamid Sharif, the Asian Development Bank's country director for China. The pace of the growth moderation in China conforms to the bank's expectations. China will remain a driver for the region's growth despite the slight drop in the first quarter, Sharif said in an interview with China Daily in Guiyang, Guizhou. The bank maintains its forecast for China's economic growth at 7.5 percent for this year and 7.4 percent for 2015, said a report released by the bank on Friday. "In the long run, China will grow more slowly, but in comparison with the performance of some developed countries, it's still doing well. As the economy gets bigger, the base is getting bigger, too, and high-speed growth will be more difficult," he said. Trying to achieve a balance between economic growth and ecological and environmental problems remains the biggest challenge facing China, said Sharif.

Companies Helping Hebei Cut Pollution
China Daily (July 23, 2014) 
An increasing number of companies in China's most polluted region of Hebei have gained green loans with emission permits as pledges, following the guideline launched by the province to strengthen financial support for environmentally friendly industries and projects. All the major companies in the steel, cement, electricity generation and glass industries will have the emissions permits, which aim to control the total pollutants emitted, said Li Bao, deputy head of the province's environmental protection bureau. The move encourages participants to perform better in environmental protection, with financial support, and it can help the industries restrict pollution as part of the national promotion on emission trading.


(CENA prepared by Collin Smith)

*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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