China Environmental News Alert
Posted January 10, 2013
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.
January 3 - January 10, 2013
The Guardian (January 8, 2013)
Pork is China's favourite meat. Last year the country produced 50m tonnes – more than half the world's total – and as the disposable incomes of China's 1.3bn people rise, their appetite is growing. Nicola Davison investigates the cost to the environment, and asks whether there is a more sustainable option.
Dow Jones (January 8, 2013)
The seepage of chemicals into a river connecting two northern Chinese provinces is the latest accident to highlight the country's serious water-pollution problem and to raise doubts about whether the authorities acted quickly to raise the alarm.
Energy Digital (January 9, 2013)
Renewable energy is an increasingly hot topic in China and is a sector targeted for increasing amounts of government attention and investment before 2020. According to Solidiance's analysis, there are 3 key drivers behind the continued interest in this sector : China’s increasing demand for electricity, the need to reduce its reliance on coal for energy production, and the need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Platts Barrel Blog (January 3, 2013)
The past year could arguably be labeled as “China’s year that wasn’t”. The Year of the Dragon, while considered the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac, did not herald particularly auspicious tidings. Instead, China was saddled with a slowing economy, political scandals that rocked the country and territorial squabbles with its neighbors in the South China Sea. In the energy sphere, widespread speculation about major overhauls to oil and gas pricing did not materialize, nor was progress made on gas pipeline sales from Russia. Monthly measurements of apparent oil demand contracted for the first time last year — in June and August — but then skyrocketed to record volumes at the end of the year.
Xinhua (January 9, 2013)
China remained the world's largest energy producer for a fifth year in 2012, China's energy authority said Wednesday. The National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a statement on its website that the country's total installed power generation capacity reached 1.14 billion kilowatts (kw) by the end of 2012.
Nanowerk News (January 8, 2013)
“Wind power has become the third-largest electric power in China,” said Liu Qi, deputy director general of the National Energy Administration.
“There is no electric power to substitute the position of wind power as No. 3, following thermal power and hydropower.” It was said in the report of the 18th CPC National Congress that “China is determined to promote the revolution of energy generation and consumption, to control the total consumption of energy, to improve energy conservation, and to support the development of energy conservation and the low carbon industry as well as renewable energy in order to ensure the safety of national energy.”
EcoSeed (January 9, 2013)
An additional 49 gigawatts of renewables is going to be added to China’s energy mix this year as the country looks to raise its power production without increasing fossil fuel consumption. Specifically, the country will add 21 gigawatts of hydroelectric power, 18 gigawatts of wind power and 10 gigawatts of solar power, according to the National Energy Administration.
Telegraph (January 6, 2013)
The Chinese are running away with thorium energy, sharpening a global race for the prize of clean, cheap, and safe nuclear power. Good luck to them. They may do us all a favour.
Barron's (January 3, 2013)
Everyone’s looking for fracking to revolutionize energy in China. They may be looking in the wrong place. China has been trying to develop shale-gas technology, by having its major oil companies buy into U.S. firms to gain access to technology. China Petrochemical Corp. (SNP), for instance, agreed to pay more than $2 billion in January 2012 for a piece of Devon Energy Corp.’s (DVN) shale-oil fields, the Wall Street Journal reported. More recently, ConocoPhillips (COP) signed an agreement with China Petrochemical to explore the potential for shale-gas in the Sichuan Basin. But what if China has better options than fracking? The strategists believe it does: syngas.
Caixin (January 7, 2013)
At least 8,572 premature deaths occurred in four major Chinese cities in 2012 due to the high levels of fine particle pollution. This was the conclusion of a joint study called PM2.5: Measuring The Human Health And Economic Impacts On China's Largest Cities carried out by Greenpeace and Peking University. Apart from the human cost, this pollution has caused a total economic loss of 6.8 billion RMB ($1.08 billion).
Telegraph (January 6, 2013)
"China's pollution problem has yet to reach a peak," Wang Jinnan, the vice president of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning or CAEP, told a conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "While it is fair to say that some traditional pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, have been put under control, other problems which pose even greater health risks to the public have yet to gain policymakers' attention," Mr Wang added, according to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper.
Royal Society of Chemistry (January 4, 2013)
When the new general secretary of China’s Communist party central committee, Xi Jinping, gave his first address to the Chinese people in November, the head of the world’s largest political organisation acknowledged that they yearned for ‘a more beautiful environment’, and that the party would fight for it. This recognition of recent environmental protests by the man expected to become China’s next president marks a shift in thinking that could affect how the country deals with large industrial projects.
New York Times (January 9, 2013)
Just a few years ago, Silicon Valley investors were pouring money into solar technologies and talking about how they would bring the same kind of innovation to green energy that they had to the computer chip. But few anticipated that prices for silicon, the main component of traditional solar panels, would plummet or that Chinese manufacturers, backed by enormous subsidies from their government, would increase solar production capacity by a factor of 17 in just four years.
South China Morning Post (January 10, 2013)
A swimming club in Handan, Hebei, is suing a chemical company in neighbouring Shanxi province over the cost of cleaning up a toxic spill and the delay in issuing a warning. The first lawsuit over last week's spill was filed by Handan's winter swimming association, a registered non-government group with about 1,200 members. It is asking Shanxi's Tianji Coal Chemical Industry to pay 20 million yuan (HK$24.6 million) in compensation - 10 million yuan for the Handan city government's clean-up effort and 10 million yuan for moral suffering by hundreds of thousands of Handan residents. Drinking water supplies were cut off from Saturday to Tuesday.
UPI (January 9, 2013)
A water-quality expert in Beijing advises residents against drinking tap water in the Chinese capital but instead go for bottled water if they can afford it. Zhao Feihong, a researcher on drinking water at the Beijing Healthcare Association, said: "I have not drunk tap water for 20 years. The capital's water has gotten more polluted in recent years," adding many of her friends and relatives also are doing the same because of health concerns, China Daily reported Wednesday.
Xinhua (January 10, 2013)
Seven people have been prosecuted over industrial waste discharges that polluted a river in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region earlier this year, local officials said Monday. The seven people, all stakeholders and executives of Jinchengjiang Hongquan Lithopone Material Co., Ltd. in the city of Hechi, are being sued for polluting the environment, according to the People's Prosecutorate of the Jinchengjiang district of Hechi.
(CENA prepared by Tim Quijano)
* 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.