China Environmental News Alert
Posted February 28, 2013 in Greening China
NRDC has been working in China for over fifteen 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.
February 21, 2013 - February 28, 2013
Green Leap Forward (February 26, 2013)
Around this time last year, I blogged about some misconceptions on U.S. and China’s installed wind capacity and wind energy generation, highlighting that the U.S. was producing 64% more wind energy than China in 2011 with the same amount of turbines. I explained the reasons for this including China’s difficulties with their Renewable Energy Law, grid connection bottlenecks, and performance gaps due to technology and wind resource issues. In this blog, I’d like to provide a quick update on the U.S. and China wind energy development using newly released 2012 data, and then offer up a prediction for the rest of the decade.
China File (February 27, 2013)
The environment is center stage once again in China. A Chinese lawyer has requested the findings of a national survey on soil pollution from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and been denied on the grounds that the information is a state secret. (The government had previously announced that 10 percent of China’s farmland was contaminated, but no details were provided.) The public and media are now pressing the Ministry to reverse its decision.
People's Daily Online (February 27, 2013)
With the rapid development of economy, water pollution has become a serious problem in China. Expanding construction of cities, over-used fertilizers and toxic chemicals and emissions from industries have worsened the pollution of water resource. More than 50 percent of rivers and lakes in China are severely polluted. Lots of Chinese still live on polluted water. The government has invested heavily in water pollution treatment and control.
International Business Times (February 27, 2013)
Residents of a Zhejiang, China village have been the focus of a campaign aimed at cleaning up the nation’s heavily polluted rivers and lakes.
One photo of the local Ruian River, brimming with garbage, went viral on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging tool, after a local entrepreneur offered the environmental protection bureau chief 200,000 yuan ($32,000) to swim in the polluted waters for 20 minutes. Many other local Zhejiang residents joined in on the challenge, offering up additional sums of money to the official.
The Guardian (February 26, 2013)
China's leading environmental watchdog has refused to disclose the results of a major national soil pollution study on grounds of state secrecy, according to a lawyer who requested the report's disclosure. The news comes amid growing public concern about the impact of years of turbo-charged growth on the environment and people's health, thanks in large part to the winter's terrible air pollution in Beijing and other areas of the country.
RELATED: OPINION: Information on polluted soil is not a national secret China Daily (February 26, 2013) It's unreasonable that the Ministry of Environmental Protection refused to release information on polluted soil citing national secrets, says an article in China Youth Daily.
Fuel Fix (February 27, 2013)
A Greenpeace report released Wednesday found that U.S. coal exports to China face an uncertain future. The report, “The Myth of China’s Endless Coal Demand: A Missing Market for U.S. Exports,” echoes a study released earlier this month by research firm IHS Cera, which predicted that Chinese coal imports will peak by the end of the decade and enter a prolonged period of decline.
Asia Times (February 21, 2013)
After a year of failed multilateralism and bilateral brinkmanship, the Philippines has abandoned hope of pressing China into a compromise on territorial disputes in the South China Sea. While Manila's recent decision to submit its case for United Nations mediation ups the diplomatic ante, Beijing's out-of-hand rejection of the move indicates tensions could rise before they wane.
China Daily (February 23, 2013)
China's energy consumption totaled 3.62 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent in 2012, up 3.9 percent year on year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday. Consumption of coal, crude oil, natural gas and electricity rose 2.5 percent, 6.0 percent, 10.2 percent and 5.5 percent from a year earlier, respectively.
New York Times (February 27, 2013)
The Rhodium Group consulting firm has released a “report card” on China’s energy trends and policies that describes the country’s intensifying efforts to increase the proportion of renewable sources like wind and hydroelectric dams and boost the efficiency of coal use (essentially the metric called “greenhouse gas intensity” by President George W. Bush). The blunting upward trajectory in the graph above reflects progress, but a long path ahead.
The Smithsonian Design Blog (February 26, 2013)
Last January, air pollution reached new levels of toxicity in China. Just how bad did things get? According to the Chinese Air Quality Index (AQI), measurements of particulate matter in the air reached more than 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter the northeastern part of country. That probably doesn’t mean anything to you without context though, so here it is: anything above 300 is considered “hazardous” and citizens are warned that they “may experience more serious health effects.” For even more context, consider that the U.S. AQI only goes up to 500. Air quality in China is a constant concern and while the recent toxic cloud has dissipated for now, a number of businesses are creating new ways to battle pollution at every scale – from personal designer face masks to inflatable architecture.
The Telegraph (February 26, 2013)
The clamour from the Chinese public at being surrounded by foul air, water and soil has become deafening. But for ambitious Communist party officials, it pays to focus on economic growth rather than environmental concerns, five economists from China, Singapore and Canada found.
Energy Digital (February 26, 2013)
China's rapid urbanization and economic growth has created environmental problems that are being confronted with a wide range of innovative policies, according to new research published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
(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.
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