China's energy consumption to be kept below 4.2 billion tons of coal by 2015 and other China environmental news
Posted November 4, 2010 in Greening China
NRDC has been working in China for fifteen years on such issues as climate, energy efficiency, green buildings, clean energy, governance and law, health, 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.
October 30, 2010- November 5, 2010
China's energy consumption to be kept below 4.2 billion tons of coal by 2015
People’s Daily Online (October 31, 2010)
The director of China’s National Energy Administration announced that China’s primary energy consumption will be kept between 4 and 4.2 billion tons of standard coal by 2015. To achieve the country’s non-fossil fuel energies ratio and the carbon emissions per GDP reduction targets, coal consumption must remain below 4.2 billion tons in the next five years. Current per capita energy consumption stands at 2.5 million tons of coal per capita, and if left unchecked, that number could rise to 7 billion tons of coal consumed by 2030.
Pioneer of China environmental NGOs dies
Reuters (October 29, 2010)
Liang Congjie, founder of Friends of Nature, China’s first environmental NGO, passed away last Friday at the age of 78. Liang was known as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and began Friends of Nature in 1994. He has had an immense effect on “promoting ordinary Chinese participation in supervising pollution problems and protecting the environment.”
China to build world's fastest 510-km-long intercity high-speed rail line
Sify News (November 2, 2010)
China has recently approved a $10.6 billion high-speed railway linking the two western cities of Xi’an and Chengdu, and is slated to be the world’s fastest intercity high-speed rail. The train will run at a speed of 250 km/h, cutting down the usual 13 hour travel time to about 2 hours. The line is set to be completed in four years, and is being built to carry 70 million passengers annually.
China, Canada pledge co-operation on emissions reductions
The Montreal Gazette (October 29, 2010)
Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice signed a memorandum of understanding with China during his recent visit to Beijing, promising greater cooperation between the two countries in better protecting land, air and water. Details of the MOU include addressing national parks, biodiversity, and environmental emergencies. The two countries are celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations.
China to cut 2011 rare earth quota slightly
Reuters (November 2, 2010)
China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that rare earth export quotas will experience a slight cut from this year’s already lowered numbers. China already cut exports by over 40% from 2009 numbers, and claims to have done so in efforts to save the environment. Officials assert that slight cuts for next year will have a negligible affect on the overall amount of rare earths exported.
Russia begins oil pipeline shipments to China
Bloomberg (November 2, 2010)
Trial shipments of oil have been sent through the newly built 4,000 km pipeline running from Russia to China. The pipeline is expected to provide over 15 million tons of crude oil annually to China, though it has the capacity to handle twice that amount. The pipeline will continue to undergo a series of trials over the next two months, but will open for operation at the beginning of next year.
China quarantine bureau rejects U.S. corn cargo
Reuters (November 2, 2010)
Traces of unapproved genetically modified organisms have been found in a recent shipment of corn coming from the United States. Discovered in the port city of Chiwan, officials say traces of genetically modified elements that have not been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture were present, and the cargo was promptly returned to the United States. China is currently the world’s second largest consumer of corn.
Garbage floating in Three Gorges Dam collected after it threatens reservoir’s turbo generators
Global Times (November 2, 2010)
Workers have finished removing over 3,800 tons of garbage from the Three Gorges Dam after the dam’s water levels were recently raised to maximum capacity. The floating debris began threatening the operation of the dam’s hydropower turbo-generators, and took workers under a week to clear. A spokesman from the local environmental protection bureau ensures that the waste will be disposed of in an environmentally conscious manner.
UN chief urges China to continue reducing pollution, gap between rich and poor
Xinhua (November 1, 2010)
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed an audience at Nanjing University after receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Law, stressing China’s need to continue moving down the path of sustainable development and environmental sustainability. Ban commended the Chinese government’s efforts towards striving for these goals, but showed concern for China’s commitment for the future of the Kyoto Protocol.
Official blasts US 301 probe of Chinese clean energy policies
Xinhua (November 4, 2010)
A senior official from the China Chamber of International Commerce denounced the recent United States probe into Chinese protectionist policies in the domestic clean energy front. In response to the probe, China claims that American protection measures have been far more extensive, and now is the time to focus on bilateral cooperation in the sector, rather than throwing accusations.
China to sell 500,000 tons of zinc from reserves as power cuts lift prices
Bloomberg (November 3, 2010)
China will be selling over 500,000 tons of zinc from its national reserves in efforts to boost domestic supplies due to reduced production from recent power supply limits. China is currently the world’s largest producer of zinc, and the government hopes to stabilize zinc markets despite the recently passed energy saving initiatives.
Official claims giant pandas becoming less endangered
People’s Daily (November 3, 2010)
Deputy Director of the State Forestry Administration has asserted that giant pandas have been rebounding in number, and are currently less endangered than in the past. China currently has 62 giant panda nature reserves, with over 300 giant pandas being raised in captivity. Over 60% of giant panda habitats are protected by reserves, with 70% of wild populations living within the designated area.
(CENA prepared by Phillip Yang)
* 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.
See our bilingual (English and Chinese) blog dedicated to discussion of China's environmental law, policy and public participation at http://www.greenlaw.org.cn.