China Environmental News Alert
Posted August 13, 2010
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.
August 7, 2010- August 13, 2010
China landslide death toll rises to 700
Associated Press (August 11, 2010)
Massive landslides in the northwestern regions of China have left over 700 dead and 1,042 missing. Over 45,000 people have been evacuated from the region as rescuers scramble to reach potential survivors and work through the wreckage. Caused by flash floods and unstable land formations, the situation has the potential to worsen as heavy rains continue to loom in the forecast. Flooding in China this year has killed over 1,800 people and has caused tens of billions of dollars in damages.
Chinese experts urge government to halt corn-based ethanol production on price, food security concerns
Global Times (August 11, 2010)
Industrial experts warn the government against the production of corn-based ethanol in the face of rising food prices and concerns over food security. Subsidies supporting ethanol have increased the demand in the industry for corn, making it difficult for livestock breeders to operate under increased prices. In lieu of corn, experts suggest using wheat straw or cassava to produce ethanol.
China's industrial polluters given two months to close
Justmeans (August 12, 2010)
Over 2,000 factories that have been deemed energy inefficient, highly polluting, or unsafe will be shut down in an effort towards reaching long-term energy efficiency goals. The Ministry of Industry has set the deadline at the end of September, covering over 18 industries. Companies that fail to do so face having licenses revoked and power cuts from suppliers.
Firebreaks completed in north China's forest with Russia, DPRK
Xinhua News (August 8, 2010)
Preventative measures have been taken to stop recent wildfires from spreading across the Jilin provincial borders, covering 246 km of the Russian border, and 118 km of the North Korean border. Inner Mongolia has also undergone firebreak precautions, covering 680 km worth of forests. Workers have created belted areas of 50-100 meters that have been stripped of vegetation, protecting forested areas from raging fires in central Russia.
China will produce 15 million green energy cars in 2020
Suite 101 (August 10, 2010)
China reports that it will become the largest clean energy automobile market within the decade, increasing the production of electric vehicles, hybrid energy vehicles, solar cars, and hydrogen fuel cell cars to 15 million by 2020. The government’s plan includes subsidies to domestic manufacturers of green engines and batteries.
34 poisoned after chemical leak in south China
Xinhua News (August 8, 2010)
Thirty-four villagers were rushed to the hospital after a poisonous gas leaked from a chemical plant in Guangxi. The workers were exposed to titanium tetrachloride while cleaning equipment from the Guinan Titanium factory. Most have been safely discharged from the hospital.
China eyes low carbon trade, CDM priority for now
Reuters (August 12, 2010)
China is planning a series of pilot carbon trading programs starting next year. A carbon price would help increase energy efficiency without slowing down economic growth, and provide a stimulus to some domestic environmental exchanges. Officials say that China will not be rushing to launch a national emissions trading scheme, and will continue to participate in the UN backed carbon trading scheme in the meanwhile.
Fast growing China consumed less energy than U.S. last year, Xinhua says
Bloomberg (August 11, 2010)
Xinhua news has reported that China still remains behind the United States in national energy consumed, contrary to statistics reported by the International Energy Agency. Total energy use in 2009 reached 2.149 metric tons of oil equivalent, which Xinhua claims is at least 200 million tons less than the United States.
Energy-intensive firms lose electricity aid
China Daily (August 8, 2010)
Preferential energy rates favoring energy intensive industries in twenty-two provinces have been eliminated. All energy intensive enterprises will be subjected to new tariff surcharges imposed by the NDRC in May. Surcharges for heavy industry firms will double to .1 yuan per kwh.
China to hold green industry expo in November
Xinhua News (August 11, 2010)
China plans to hold a green industry expo from November 24-27 in Beijing, mainly focusing on domestic and international development of green economies. More than 600 companies from 20 countries have made preliminary decisions to participate. Planners of the event hope that it will serve as a step forward towards making progress at the Mexico Climate Change Summit at the end of this year.
China solar project draws interest from 50 different companies
Bloomberg (August 12, 2010)
In efforts to double solar capacity production, China has received 135 project bids from 50 different companies. Using subsidies, loans, and tax breaks, the projects have ranged from proposed nuclear plant operators to circuit breaker producers. China is using a bidding system to grant concessions that was first utilized last year.
Scientist on a mission to clone giant pandas
People’s Daily Online (August 11, 2010)
Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have been researching the possibilities of cloning giant pandas. With mild success in the initial steps of cloning a black bear fetus years ago, scientists are hopeful that genetic engineering will be able to someday preserve the species.
(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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