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Greenlaw from NRDC China’s Blog

China Environmental News Alert

Greenlaw from NRDC China

Posted December 13, 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. 

November 30, 2012 – December 13, 2012


China and US hold the key to a new global climate deal

The Guardian (December 12, 2012)

China and the US are to be the clear focus of the next year of climate change negotiations, following a hard-fought climate conference that ended in Doha on Saturday night. The world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases hold the key to forging a new global agreement on climate change, that for the first time would bind both developed and developing countries to cut their emissions. But both face severe political problems that will make the talks for the next few years extremely difficult. At Doha, in a marathon 36-hour final session, governments agreed on a handful of measures that will enable the focus to move from the old negotiations to a new set of talks that will focus solely on forging a new international agreement, to be drawn up in 2015 and come into force from 2020.


Bottle-collecting machines to reward Beijing subway travelers

Xinhua (December 12, 2012)

Beijing commuters will soon benefit from their environmentally friendly actions, as four machines were on Wednesday installed in two subway stations in the city to collect discarded bottles and pay out credit toward travel passes in return. The ATM-like automated collectors were placed at Jinsong and Shaoyaoju stations on Line 10. When put into operation next week, they will allow commuters to exchange plastic containers for between 0.1 yuan (1.6 U.S. cents) and 0.05 yuan based on the donation's capacity. Bottles gathered will be crunched to a third of their original size and stored in the machine before transferral to local factories for further recycling procedures, a technician from operating company Incom said. Under current subway costs, travelers will be able to enjoy a free ride for as few as every 20 bottles donated.


Environmental progress vital for officials' advancement

Xinhua (December 12, 2012)

Officials from east China's city of Nanchang are pursuing promotions not through the traditional method of raising the local GDP, but by protecting the environment. "Ecological progress" now accounts for one-third of the criteria used to evaluate officials from the city's Wanli district, where over 70 percent of the land is forested. Previously, environmental protection accounted for just 12 percent of the criteria used to grade local officials, with economic performance accounting for 60 percent.


China’s mining occupation of the Philippines

Global Nation (December 12, 2012)

While China’s brazen occupation of the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal, located just 125 nautical miles from Masinloc, Zambales, has captured all the national and international attention, little has been mentioned about China’s occupation of the Philippine mining industry, an entirely different issue from the Filipino Chinese (“Chinoys”) domination of the Philippine economy. For example, one of China’s vast army of mining companies operating almost under the radar in the Philippines is located near the Scarborough Shoal in the coastal town of Masinloc where China’s Wei-Wei Group has set up a US$100 million nickel processing plant. In nearby Botolan, Zambales, China’s Jiangxi Rare Earth and Rare Metals Tungsten Group Company Limited operates a US$150 million nickel exploration and cobalt processing project.


Wastewater regulation vacuum under spotlight

Xinhua (December 12, 2012)

A river in China' textile production base receives dozens of tonnes of toxic wastewater from two treatment plants every day, which however argued they had complied with the nation's environmental standards. Greenpeace early this month published results of an investigation of alleged pollution in the Qiantang River in east China's Zhejiang Province. According to the organization, a number of carcinogenic substances such as aromatic amine, methylene chloride, and perfluorooctanoic acid with reproductive toxicity were found in water samples taken from the plants, which were analyzed at a lab in Britain's Exeter University.


Environment: Battle balance urbanization with ecological sustainability

Financial Times (December 11, 2012)

By the time you finish reading this article, more than 400 Chinese people will have left the countryside and put down new roots in a city. China’s cities, which already house a tenth of the world’s population, are swelling every minute. It is the largest migration in human history, and is a driving force behind China’s demand for everything from steel to sugar to electricity. Perhaps more surprisingly, cities have become a key front in the country’s fight against pollution and efforts to shift toward more sustainable growth.


China at the centre of 'illegal timber' trade

The Guardian (December 11, 2012)

China is at the centre of a vast global traffic in illegally logged timber that is destroying entire swaths of forest around the world. Academic research and NGOs such as WWF and Global Witness have already revealed the existence of illegal trading networks in Africa, Burma and Russia leading directly to Chinese ports or cities. Now for the first time fingers are pointing directly to Beijing and holding public enterprises and local government officials responsible for this highly lucrative illegal trade.


Railroading the environment

Global Times (December 9, 2012)

Over 200 Beijing residents from over 34 residential communities living adjacent to the planned route for a new high-speed railway linking the city to Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, took to the streets Sunday to protest the plan, which has raised eyebrows within China's environment ministry. Cheng Yaoxuan, 32, a representative of the residents, told the Global Times that they have been protesting against the planned bullet trains because they believe the noise and electromagnetic radiation will be bad for their health, adding that their daily life will also be affected as the new line is planned to be less than 50 meters from residential buildings, kindergartens and elementary schools.


Rejected in China, Activists Campaign for Environment Overseas

New Tang Dynasty Television (December 7, 2012)

This ad on the New York Times on November 30th was originally meant for China’s state-run People's Daily. It got refused, because it was apparently too politically sensitive. The two men in the ad are environmentalists. Chen Faqing and Wu Lihong first congratulated China's incoming leaders. Then they called on the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee to make environmental protection their top priority.


China pledges 'due contribution' on emissions cuts

The Guardian (December 5, 2012)

China has pledged to make its "due contribution" to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change, but said developed countries must do more. Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation at the Doha climate talks, said: "We are working together with other countries on global climate change, and we will make our due contribution to that end. If different countries have different situations, that is understandable, but we are seeking common ground." Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said: "The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialisation of the developed world. [It is] only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility."



(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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