China Environmental News Alert
Posted September 20, 2012
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.
September 14, 2012 – September 20, 2012
China Daily (September 20, 2012)
The central government plans to strengthen efforts to control sandstorms and prevent environmental degradation in Beijing and Tianjin in the coming decade, according to a State Council statement on Wednesday. Members at an executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao discussed and passed the second-stage work plan for the Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Control Program (2013-22). The statement said Shaanxi will be included in the program in 2013, as it is a source of sandstorms of the two metropolises. Sandstorm-control work will also be expanded from 75 counties in five regions to 138 counties in six regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi province and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Financial Times (September 19, 2012)
Between now and 2030, China will be adding as much new power capacity as the US, UK, and Australia combined use today, according to calculations from HSBC. That is a lot of power. But there is a catch: Generating electricity requires water, and Chinese supplies are increasingly running short. Whether it is water used to cool nuclear power stations, in coal-washing, steam turbines, or solar panel factories—everything that generates electricity needs water at some stage. According to a new report from HSBC and consultancy China Water Risk, water shortages are set to play a bigger role in shaping China’s energy choices.
ABC News (September 19, 2012)
China is emerging as Newcastle's major research partner in the $100 million dollar "Smart Grid, Smart City" project. In the latest phase of the project, Energy Australia is inviting households to join a trial of energy saving products, with the promise of rebates on their power bills. Smart Grid research through Newcastle University and the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources is also gathering pace. Institute Director Dr Allan Broadfoot says since the start of the month two new agreements have been signed with China. "We've signed an agreement with Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute and with the State Grid Electrical Power Research Institute of China," he said. "There's enormous research capabilities within those countries that we wish to tap into.
Xinhua (September 19, 2012)
Construction on several environmental preservation projects has kicked off in the newly established island city of Sansha in the South China Sea, authorities said Wednesday. Construction on a sewage processing and pipeline project and a garbage collecting and transferring project started on Aug. 25, sources within the Sansha government said. The government of Hainan, a southern province that administers Sansha, will prioritize environmental protection in all construction projects, as Sansha's ecological environment is fragile and non-renewable, said provincial governor Jiang Dingzhi.
New York Times (September 19, 2012)
With Arctic ice melting at record pace, the world’s superpowers are increasingly jockeying for political influence and economic position in outposts like this one, previously regarded as barren wastelands. At stake are the Arctic’s abundant supplies of oil, gas and minerals that are, thanks to climate change, becoming newly accessible along with increasingly navigable polar shipping shortcuts. This year, China has become a far more aggressive player in this frigid field, experts say, provoking alarm among Western powers. While the United States, Russia and several nations of the European Union have Arctic territory, China has none, and as a result, has been deploying its wealth and diplomatic clout to secure toeholds in the region.
Xinhua (September 19, 2012)
The State Council decided Wednesday to introduce a National Low-carbon Day in a fresh move to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the world's second-largest economy. The introduction of the National Low-carbon Day beginning 2013 is aimed at promoting awareness about climate change and low-carbon development policies, encouraging public participation and facilitating the country's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the State Council said in a statement released after an executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. The National Low-carbon Day will fall on the third day of the National Energy Efficiency Promotion Week in June every year, according to the State Council.
Forbes (September 19, 2012)
The U.S. has been gunning for China’s major solar companies for the past two years under the Obama administration, with anti-dumping cases and higher tariffs killing sales. And with the budget crisis in Europe, countries like Italy are no longer providing incentives to state governments to use Made in China solar panel power. The result? Layoffs at the big named solar panel makers are on the rise.
Xinhua (September 19, 2012)
Cambodian and Chinese legislators met on Wednesday to exchange views and experience in environmental protection and preservation. Huang Xianzhong, vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation Committee said the visit was to study Cambodia’s measures and legal frameworks in protecting environment and resource management. He also hailed Cambodia for its efforts in protecting environment and cultural heritage.
Bloomberg (September 18, 2012)
The first carbon-dioxide price reported in China’s Guangdong province at 60 yuan ($9.50) a metric ton is probably coordinated by government and may not reflect demand and supply, said Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Four Chinese cement makers bought 1.3 million tons of emission permits for the new carbon market at the price, the 21st Century Business Herald reported today. European Union carbon was today at 7.51 euros ($9.81) a ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London as of 3:04 p.m. “The price of 60 yuan a ton is negotiated between local government and the buyers, and does not reflect any supply and demand fundamentals,” Charlie Cao, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Beijing, said today.
Global Times (September 18, 2012)
Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese private entrepreneur known for his philanthropy, began to sell canned fresh air Monday, a move he claimed was to draw more people's attention to environmental protection. "We've sold 1,000 cans in Tongzhou district today, earning about 5,000 yuan ($792)," Chen told the Global Times Monday, adding that he will donate all the earnings to the Chinese military to defend the Diaoyu Islands. The air is collected from revolutionary regions, including Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province, some ethnic minority areas and Taiwan, and sells for four to five yuan each, he said.
Xinhua (September 16, 2012)
The Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) conferred an honor to the Chinese government for its contribution to ozone layer protection in an event marking this year's International Ozone Layer Protection Day that fell on Sunday. Zhang Lijun, vice minister of environmental protection, said at the event that China has phased out more than 100,000 tons of ozone depleting substances (ODS) since 1991, an amount that accounted for around half the total disposed of by the developing countries. Since signing the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1991, China continued to improve its management over ODS and phase out ODS production and consumption, contributing greatly to global efforts in ozone layer protection, according to Zhang.
(CENA prepared by Jack Marzulli)
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