UN rules out extending Kyoto CO2 limits this year, hurting carbon market and other China environmental news
Posted December 3, 2010
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.
November 27, 2010- December 3, 2010
China and the Cancun climate negotiations
UN rules out extending Kyoto C02 limits this year, hurting carbon market
Bloomberg (December 1, 2010)
Recent climate change talks ruled out extending greenhouse gas limits in the Kyoto Protocol, casting doubts on the future of international carbon markets. The Secretary General of the UNFCCC announced that an agreement on how to limit emissions beyond the 2012 expiration date would not be reachable, and could possibly put an end to the world’s second largest credit market, currently valued at $2.7 billion. Japan’s lack of support for extending Kyoto only complicate the negotiation stalemate between the U.S. and China, highlighting the general disagreements between developed and developing countries.
Cancun delegates praise China's green energy push
Xinhua (December 2, 2010)
Representatives from various bodies during the UN climate change conference in Cancun have commended China on noteworthy efforts made in developing domestic green energy industries. The UN Resident Coordinator spoke highly of China’s efforts to combat climate change, addressing specifically its efforts in developing renewable energy. This comes in light of the promising recent modifications made to the Renewable Energy Law, and new regulations to be specified in the upcoming Five Year Plan.
Other China environmental news
China launches hourly air quality data index
AFP (November 28, 2010)
China has started publishing hourly air quality information for its 113 largest cities across the country, reporting levels of sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, as well as particulate matter, to an online system. The government believes it will play a beneficial role in air pollution prevention and control, as well as satisfying the public’s right to environmental information. The U.S. embassy in Beijing has already established its own hourly air quality index, published on the embassy’s Twitter account as an alternative source of information.
Power consumption declines in China
Wall Street Journal (December 1, 2010)
China’s national energy consumption has been on a continuous steady decline as the government has strengthened efforts to meet targets set out in soon to end 11th Five Year Plan. According to recent reports, heavy power-consuming provinces in the east (Hebei, Jiangsu) have recorded nearly zero growth in power consumption, while other provinces in the west have posted annual declines. China has also predicted further decreases between October and December, as reduction in power consumption of the heavy industry sector remains a top government priority.
China to map a switch to efficient lighting
China.org (December 2, 2010)
Chinese lighting experts have recently announced that China will soon unveil a national plan to increase the use of energy-saving lighting, with goals to phase out incandescent light bulbs in gradual steps. China currently produces 85% of the world’s CFLs, with one fourth of that supply going into domestic consumption. However, China remains the only country in the world who produces inefficient incandescent bulbs, with the United States as the world’s largest importer.
New reservoir boosts Shanghai's water quality
China Daily (November 26, 2010)
A new reservoir that sources water from the Yangtze River will begin supplying water to 750,000 residents in Shanghai starting in December. Shanghai plans to draw 70% of its water supply from the Yangtze River by 2012, hoping to improve the overall water quality of the city by doing so. Half of the city’s population is expected to be drinking water from the reservoir by the middle of next year. The entire operation cost the city government $2.53 billion to execute.
China's rare earth exports to Japan start again
Seer Press News (November 29, 2010)
The Japanese trade minister confirmed that shipments of rare earth minerals from China resumed this week following two months of diplomatic disputes. Two shipments were received by Japan, with subsequent shipments expected in the near future. Japan is still looking to diversify their rare earth sources, however, forming agreements with Mongolia, Vietnam, and Australia to develop new mines.
Air pollution engulfs China's Shanghai after Expo
Reuters (November 30, 2010)
Shanghai has been blanketed in a brown haze of smog, appearing almost immediately after the end of the six month World Expo. Pollution levels are almost three times higher than they were during the Expo, with reports of a noxious gas leak permeating through parts of the city. Many attribute the smog to the loosening of government restrictions on nearby polluting plants, while the government asserts the smog is a combination of weather patterns, increased vehicle usage, and the opening of coal powered plants needed for winter heating.
China's Shenhua says CTL plant to begin carbon storing in '11
Reuters (November 30, 2010)
A representative of China’s Shenghua group has announced that pilot CSS facility will begin storing carbon early next year. The coal to liquids plant in Inner Mongolia will start injecting captured CO2 into underground storage facilities in January 2011. Despite having two small pilot CCS plants in Beijing and Shanghai, officials are still skeptical of the viability of CCS projects, as both effectiveness and pricing concerns still shroud the technology. The plant is slated to produce 3 million tons of oil products from coal in 2015.
In the energy race, echoes of Sputnik
New York Times (November 29, 2010)
In an address to the National Press Club, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu discussed many of the long term goals the Energy Department is focusing on, specifically in the context of a growing China. Dr. Chu pointed out that the shift in global export shares, with China accounting for 20% of global shares to America’s 15%. He compared the recent rise in research and development in China to the launching of the Soviet Sputnik in the 1950’s, connoting certain parallels to the Cold War arms race decades ago. However, he ended the speech with promises to continue cooperative efforts between China as a means of mutual benefit between the two countries.
Early snow in north China triggers herdsmen's living concerns
Xinhua (November 29,2010)
Early, heavy snow on the border of Mongolia and China has driven herders into utilizing reserve sources of grain to sustain their livestock over the winter. With the heaviest snow fall in over thirty years, the Inner Mongolian Development Bank issued 30 million RMB in disaster relief loans.
(CENA prepared by Phillip Yang)
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