China Environmental News Alert
Posted August 6, 2010 in Greening China
NRDC has been working in China for over twelve years on such issues as energy efficiency, green buildings, clean energy technologies, environmental governance and public participation, and green supply chain issues. This China Environmental News Alert is a weekly compilation of news from around the world on China and the environment.
July 31, 2010- August 6, 2010
Irrational layouts of chemical factories blamed for life-threatening accidents in China
Xinhua (August 7, 2010)
Soldiers and emergency workers struggle to retrieve over 3,000 barrels of toxic chemicals from the recently flooded Songhua River in China’s Jilin Province. More than 5,000 barrels have already been recovered, but faster downstream currents are making unrecovered barrels increasingly difficult to collect. Experts blame the incident on poorly placed factories along riverbanks and over-capacity.
Flood kills 1,072 this year in China
China Daily (August 4, 2010)
Floods have left 1,072 people dead and 619 missing this year throughout 28 provinces in China, with estimated losses worth 210 billion yuan. Over 9.72 million hectares of farmland have been damaged as government officials scramble to step up late rice planting to ensure a decent harvest.
Workers Question China’s Account of Oil Spill
New York Times (August 4, 2010)
A series of investigations and interviews lend credence to the belief that the government’s account of the Dalian oil spill misses critical details. Greenpeace released a report last week contending that large quantities of oil were deliberately released to avoid the explosion of a tank that would have emitted a cloud of poisonous gases and potentially killed thousands. Volunteers helping with the clean-up effort contend that officials’ figures of the magnitude of the spill – 1,500 metric tons, or 11,000 barrels – are fabricated underestimates.
Related Article from International Business Times: Greenpeace: Dalian oil spill worse than official data shows
China surpasses the U.S. as the world's fastest growing wind energy market
Popular Science (August 5, 2010)
According to the United States Department of Energy’s 2009 Wind Technologies Market Report, China’s wind energy market has taken the global lead in overall wind capacity installed. The United States accumulated 26% of the world’s new additions in wind capacity, with an additional 10 GW added, yet it still fell 10% behind that of China’s additions.
A river runs red in Fujian
Caixin Online (July 30, 2010)
A massive leakage of wastewater from the Zijin copper smelting plant to the Ting River in Fujian resulted in the death of over 1,900 tons of fish. The local government reports over 20 million RMB in reparations to local fisherman, but the incident is blamed on a rupture in the wastewater pool, as well as damaged monitoring equipment.
China to invest $15 bln over 10 yrs for green autos
Reuters (August 4, 2010)
Over the next ten years, China will spend 100 billion yuan (around USD15 billion) to subsidize environmentally friendly cars over the next 10 years. The National Development and Reform Commission estimates that by 2012, 4 million green vehicles will be subsidized under the program, though it appears that even this large investment is not enough to make the industry self-sustainable.
Coal Imports May Drop in China on Less Growth, More Hydro: Energy Markets
Bloomberg (August 3, 2010)
Industry officials and analysts estimate that coal purchases may drop from 81 million tons from the first half of this year to 59.5 million tons for the second half. This estimate follows predictions that the growth in China’s power consumption will slow to 5 percent, and data showing a weak July for the manufacturing sector.
China's boom hurts energy-saving drive
Bloomberg (August 3, 2010)
Recent annual growth has increased energy use per unit of output by .9 percent over the same period of 2009 according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Due to the recent stimulus driven construction boom, energy intensive building materials like steel and cement have seen a rise in demand. Steel production alone rose 21% in the first half of the year, correlating with a 29.3% increase in consumption.
China may reduce number of iron ore importers to improve bargaining power
Bloomberg (August 3, 2010)
China may soon reduce the number of qualified importers of iron ore with standards regulating capital requirements, energy consumption, and environmental considerations. As an integral element in the steel making process, the objective is to eliminate small buyers who inflate market prices. This comes despite declining iron ore imports.
China's recovered poplar forests boost agriculture
Xinhua (August 8, 2010)
The recovery of poplar forests in Siyang county in China’s Jiangsu province has been declared an outstanding example of countryside reinforcement by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Thirty years after its implementation, the program has increased the overall forest size by over forty percent, now covering over 100,000 hectares of land. In addition to protecting 1 million farmers from flood, sandstorms, and soil erosion, the resulting job creation has contributed to an improvement of the area’s overall per capita income.
3D fast bus in China goes over cars
CleanTechnica (August 3, 2010)
Beginning at the end of this year, China will host an eco-community project that will feature a newly designed bus that will operate above automobile traffic. The bus is designed to straddle road lanes, going over cars but under overpasses. The strengths in the design lie in its ability to avoid traffic and roadway congestion without building the necessary infrastructure subways necessitate, reducing traffic by almost 25-30% on main roadways. With a carrying capacity of 1,200 people, the bus can save an estimated 860 tons of fuel per year by running on solar and electric powered sources. The project will begin later this year in Beijing’s Mentougou District.
Solar-powered robot cars on Silk Road to oriental Expo
China Daily (August 5, 2010)
Last week, two solar-powered driverless electric vehicles embarked on a 13,000-kilometer journey from Italy to make the World Expo in Shanghai on October 28. With funding from the European Research Council, the project intends to test a variety of novel technologies such as pedestrian detection and trajectory planning, and demonstrate the capability of long-distance, new-energy transportation capabilities.
(CENA prepared by Phillip Yang)
* 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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