Issue 15, June 26th to July 2nd, 2009


The good, the bad, the bizarre (China Environmental Law Blog, 7/1/2009) During the first six months of 2009, Beijing experienced its best air in a decade. Although just how good Beijing’s air is in an absolute sense remains in dispute (for all things Beijing Air, your indispensable source is livefrombeijing), there seems little reason to doubt that air quality has improved on a relative basis lately. How did that happen you ask?

The Energy and Climate Registry: A new initiative toward carbon disclosure in Southern China (The Green Leap Forward, 6/28/2009) A guest post by Lucia Green-Weiskel (pictured right) who describes a groundbreaking initiative in Guangdong to set up a greenhouse gas registry.

“Still waters run deep” (China Dialogue, 6/29/2009) Li Xiaolin, CEO of China Power, tells Isabel Hilton why she attended the World Business Summit on Climate Change, and why she wants to encourage a new generation of businesspeople.

India and China making same mistakes that U.S. did (Examiner, 6/29/2009) China demands that an international treaty on global warming exempt India and China, now creating the most greenhouse gases. China argues that since the U.S. developed by burning fuel, China and India should have that privilege.

How Confucianism could curb global warming (The Christian Science Monitor, 6/26/2009) Now here's a curveball to secular Western policy experts: China's intellectuals are openly debating the role of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism in promoting the Communist Party's vision of a harmonious society and ecologically sustainable economic development.


The “Green” Charm of Red Jinggang Mountain (CRIENGLISH.com, 7/2/2009) To most foreigners interested in Chinese history, Jinggang Mountain is the mysterious "holy" land of China's revolution. It was on this mountain that Mao Zedong established China's first countryside revolutionary base and spread the seeds of success of the revolution to the whole nation. While today's Jinggang Mountain is not just "holy" but also "green", it is not only the cradle of Chinese revolution, but also a vast national forest park. Our reporter Yang Yang has more.

Villager’s water undermined (China Daily, 7/2/2009) More than 3,000 villagers in Guangdong province must travel 3 km to take a sip of potable water after the local drinking supply was found to be contaminated.

A Savvy Litigator Takes on China’s Polluters (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, July-August 2009) For decades, China’s government has pushed for economic growth, but Chinese citizens have paid a high price for that rapid development in the form of severe pollution from various industries.

Microbes found that eat hydrocarbons, and leave behind non-toxic residue (Pollution Online, 6/30/2009) Bioremediation of industrial sites and petrochemical spillages often involves finding microbes that can gorge themselves on the toxic chemicals. This leaves behind a non-toxic residue or mineralized material. Writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution, researchers in China describe studies of a new microbe that can digest hydrocarbons.

Peer pressure plays major role in environmental behavior (ScienceDaily, 6/30/2009) People are more likely to enroll in conservation programs if their neighbors do--a tendency that should be exploited when it comes to protecting the environment, according to results of a new study.

China’s creeping sands (China Dialogue, 6/24/2009) Growing sands are transforming China’s arable land, with nearly 20% of the country’s land area classified as desert. A slideshow by photographer Sean Gallagher documents the issue, which affects the lives of an estimated 400 million people.


Birth defects in China’s Shanxi show human price of coal mining (Reuters, 7/2/2009) Ten-year-old Yilong is already a statistic. Born at the centre of China’s coal industry, the boy is mentally handicapped and is unable to speak. He is one of many such children in Shanxi province, where coal has brought riches to a few, jobs for many, and environmental pollution that experts say has led to a high number of babies born with birth defects.

Chinese steelmakers fail to reach deal on one price (Wall Street Journal, 7/1/2009) China's steel industry failed to reach a supply deal with the world's major iron-ore producers by Tuesday's informal deadline, highlighting the challenges the resource-hungry nation faces in trying to shift the balance of power in global commodities markets.

Sojitz plans sewage treatment operations in China (Bloomberg, 7/1/2009) Sojitz Corp., a Japanese trading company, plans to start sewage treatment operations in China as demand for recycled water increases in the world’s fastest- growing major economy.

Detroit Electric discusses Asian ambitions (New York Times, 7/1/2009) Last week, the Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corporation and Detroit Electric Holdings — keeper of the Detroit Electric brand, a decades-old, long-defunct electric vehicle label that was recently ressurected as a Netherlands-based, largely Asian-financed maker of electric drive train technology — announced plans to jointly research, develop, market and sell fully electric vehicles in China.

Jiangsu builders will be fined for raising dust (China Daily, 7/1/2009) Many builders in Jiangsu province will be slugged with a fine for dust emissions starting today, even as some of them said they have not been warned of the new penalties.

China Chalco plans to raise 10 bln yuan in shr placement (Reuters, 6/30/2009) Top Chinese aluminium producer Chalco (601600.SS)(2600.HK) said on Wednesday that it plans to raise up to 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in a private share placement to fund environment-friendly alumina projects and supplement working capital.

China Energy Recovery announces the addition of a fourth independent director (PRNewswire-Asia, 6/30) China Energy Recovery, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CGYV) (ISIN: US16943V2060), a leader in the waste heat energy recovery sector of the industrial energy efficiency industry, today announced that the Company has appointed Mr. Ye Tian to the Board as the fourth independent director. The Company has thus formed a Board with the majority members being independent directors.

“Grow-a-Tree to Incubate a New “Green Generation” in China (PRLog, 6/29/2009) Specialty chemicals company LANXESS AG donated 100,000 RMB to support the "Grow-a-Tree" project for children in elementary schools in China. In March 2009 31,639 students in the Provinces Shanxi and Gansu in China were provided with locus tree seeds and biodegradable planting cartons and learned how to plant a tree with these plant kits. The seedlings are kept either at home or at school until they will be planted outside in spring 2010. This project helped the children to learn the basic principles of nature and ecology.

China ‘to block’ Hummer takeover (BBC News, 6/26/2009) A Chinese firm's bid to buy the gas-guzzling Hummer car brand will be blocked on environmental grounds, according to Chinese state radio.


Jinan – Official says environment in Dongming County sound (Xinhua, 7/2/2009) The rumor that thyroid tumors broke out among villagers in Dongming County, east China's Shandong province after they drank water polluted by chemical plants is completely baseless, local environment authorities told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Water quality information flows to public online (China Daily, 7/2/2009) Real-time information about the quality of water available from the country's major rivers will now be available online. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) began publishing results of tests on surface water quality at 100 locations yesterday. The information is updated every four hours.

China blasts US climate bill (AFP, 7/2/2009) China said on Thursday that it was "firmly" opposed to provisions in a new US clean energy bill that will make it easier to impose trade penalties on nations that reject limits to globe-warming pollution.
China considers environmental tax (The Economic Observer Online, 7/1/2009) China has edged closer to levying an environmental tax on polluters, but remains divided over how to introduce the tax. Although the idea of reforming the system by which polluters are taxed was first proposed two years ago, it was fast-tracked in May, along with changes to resource and property tax, by the National Development and Reform Commission in its state-council-approved plan for deepening economic reforms.

Navigation tech used to monitor endangered sharks in S China’s Hainan (Xinhua, 6/30/2009) For the first time on the Chinese mainland, fishery officials are using SPLASH, a state-of-the-art navigation technology, to tag and track two whale sharks--an endangered species and the world's largest mammal.

US Embassy in Beijing Twitters pollution levels (ABC News, 6/30/2009) The United States embassy has installed its very own air quality monitor and has been releasing reports to its staff. And now, on a Twitter feed called “BeijingAir” anyone can check the air quality in Beijing.

China warns imminent blue algae outbreak in major lake (Xinhua, 6/30/2009) China's environmental authority has warned of the imminent danger of a blue algae outbreak in Chaohu Lake, the country's fifth largest freshwater lake in east Anhui Province.

Chinese vice premier: Sino-Finnish cooperation in green technology sectors has great potential (Xinhua, 6/27/2009) Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday that the cooperation between China and Finland in green technology sectors has great potential for growth.Li made the remarks while delivering a speech at a formal luncheon hosted by Finnish business leaders in his honor.

Stimulus fund flowing toward sewage upgrades (China Daily, 6/26/2009) Green projects are among the major beneficiaries of the government's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package. Wan Bentai, chief engineer at the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), said some 210 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) will support environmental initiatives, including the construction of sewage and waste treatment facilities and improvements to energy-efficiency and ecology conservation.

China seeks report on Dam’s ecological effects (AP, 6/26/2009) China's environment ministry said it has ordered an ecological assessment for a proposed Yangtze River dam that conservationists fear could threaten hundreds of fish species and drive the giant Chinese sturgeon into extinction

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