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China Environmental News Alert

Greenlaw from NRDC China

Posted October 11, 2012

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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. 

September 28, 2012 – October 11, 2012


China rejects US solar panel tariffs as protectionism, says they will hurt clean energy

Associated Press (October 11, 2012)

China demanded Thursday that Washington repeal steep tariffs on solar panels that Chinese producers fear will shut their equipment out of the American market. The tariffs upheld Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department add to financial pressure on struggling Chinese solar panel manufacturers that are suffering heavy losses due to weak demand and a price-cutting war. “The United States is inciting trade friction in new energy and sending a negative signal to the whole world about protectionism and obstructing the development of new energy development,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said in a statement. It gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate.


Renewable energy investments grow globally; India reports sharpest surge

Economic Times (October 11, 2012)

New investments in renewable energy and fuels reached USD 257 billion worldwide last year, with India logging the sharpest surge and China attracting the largest amount at USD 52.2 billion, says a report. In 2010, the total global investment in renewable power and fuel was USD 220 billion, according to the latest report of Worldwatch Institute. "Investment in India grew 62 per cent -- the highest growth rate for any single country over 2010 totals," the report said. The total renewable energy investments in industrial countries in 2011 accounted for 65 per cent of global investment, increasing 21 per cent to USD 168 billion. In contrast, the 35 per cent of global new investment that went to developing countries increased 10 per cent, to USD 89 billion, the report said. Of this sum, China, India, and Brazil accounted for USD 71 billion in total investment. 

Overseas energy projects get green light

China Daily (October 10, 2012)

Energy programs are among 15 international economic projects that have been given the goahead in a major effort to boost the country's global presence in the solar sector and providemore opportunities for Chinese companies.The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, announcedthe approval of 15 overseas projects on Monday. Energy projects account for about half. Silicon cell producers Hareon Solar Technology won approval to build a 122-megawatt solar-panel power station in Romania. Winsun New Energy also won approval to establish solar power stations in Italy and Greece.


China Piped Gas Imperils $100 Billion LNG Plans: Energy Markets

Bloomberg (October 10, 2012)

China is importing more natural gas by pipeline than sea for the first time, highlighting the risk to planned LNG projects costing at least $100 billion as buyers seek cheaper supplies. The country, which accounted for almost a quarter of Asia’s gas use last year, increased shipments from Turkmenistan, the provider of almost all its piped supplies, by 55 percent to 9.85 million metric tons in the first eight months of the year, customs data show. Liquefied natural gas purchases from nations including Australia and Qatar advanced 23 percent to 9.08 million tons and cost about 3 percent more than pipeline imports, even before the cost of regasification. China’s bill for LNG, gas cooled to a liquid and transported by tanker, has surged in the past four years as it feeds its booming economy and cuts reliance on more-polluting coal for power generation. The growing dependence on cheaper supplies by pipeline is threatening the viability of LNG projects planned by companies from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Woodside (WPL) Petroleum Ltd. that are waiting for investment approval, according to CLSA Ltd., a Hong Kong-based broker partly owned by France’s Credit Agricole SA.


China's Sinopec to build $850m oil storage in Indonesia

Reuters (October 10, 2012)

Asia's top refiner, China's Sinopec, has started work to build Southeast Asia's largest oil storage terminal at the Batam free trade zone in Indonesia, the company and industry sources said, in an $850-million investment aimed to boost petroleum trading. Sinopec Kantons Holdings, a unit of the Sinopec Group, will hold a stake of 95 percent in the PT West Point Terminal project covering the construction of storage for up to 16 million barrels of crude and refined fuels, the company told the Hong Kong Exchange in a filing on Tuesday. This would be Sinopec's first facility of such a size near Singapore, Asia's oil trading hub, where the Chinese refiner has established its presence over the past 15 years, trading refined products with a team of 50.


Climate change, tourism threatening mountains

China Daily (October 9, 2012)

 A combination of climate change and tourism could cause famous mountain spots in Southwest China’s Yunnan province to lose their snow, authorities and experts have warned. Rising temperatures in recent years have steadily pushed the snow line on Meili Snow Mountain in the Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture to higher altitudes.


China’s new leaders must respect environmental rights, or face crisis

China Dialogue (October 9, 2012)

China has achieved remarkable economic successes over the last three decades. For years, it has led the world in GDP growth. But widespread industrialisation and urbanisation, along with growth based on increased use of resources, mean the nation also leads the world in energy consumption, carbon emissions and release of major air and water pollutants. Pollution is severe, resources are scarce and public health is threatened. The environmental impacts are felt both regionally and globally.


Scaling up sustainable development: slow, but steady progress

Guardian (October 9, 2012)

Sustainability is becoming increasingly central to the growth strategies of some large multinational companies, but such businesses remain in the minority. However, there are signs of positive change with a proliferation of pilots and innovative sustainability programmes in the area of resource and energy efficiency especially. Underpinning this progress is growing goodwill and collaboration across all sectors to work together towards sustainability.


Pollution blind spot in the textile industry

China Daily (October 9, 2012)

The textile industry continues to pose environmental challenges for China despite the total number of factories operating in the country shrinking, according to a report released on Monday by five NGOs. Adidas announced plans to close its last factory in China in July and many other international brands have gone the same way. “But if we look deeper into the problem, we’ll find that what we’ve lost in share of exports was mainly concentrated in the garment processing sector of the textile industry, which provides a large amount of jobs with relatively low water and energy consumption and pollution discharge,” said Ma Jun, executive director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, one of the five NGOs that released the report named Sustainable Apparel’s Critical Blind Spot. In raw material processing sectors such as dyeing and printing, which are responsible for more than 80 percent of the textile industry’s pollution discharges, China is still in pole position.


China's green transition boosts sustainable development

Xinhua (October 3, 2012)

China's rapid transition to a green economy will be a boom both to its domestic market and the global economy, especially the renewable energy industry, leading experts here have said. Commitment to developing a sustainable economy, emphasizing domestic consumption, and putting a green economy at the heart of the planning process, already form the basis of China's ongoing 12th Five-Year Plan. "We definitely need China to succeed if the world is to succeed. Whatever China does will have global repercussions because a lot of the world's manufacturing is going on there," said Nis Hoeyrup Christensen, advisor on Chinese affairs at the Confederation of Danish Industry (CDI), and researcher in China's renewable energy sector at Copenhagen Business School. He added that a green transition in China's manufacturing model will have especial relevance where it concerns production for the domestic market, "because that amounts to a lot of economic activity."



(CENA prepared by Jack Marzulli)


* 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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