Issue 22, August 20th to August 27th, 2009


Viewpoint: Why China could turn green (Time, 8/27/2009) If you want to visit the front line of China's environmental struggle, there are lots of places to choose from. You could drop in on Changqing, in northwestern Shaanxi province, where on Aug. 17 hundreds of people stormed a smelting plant blamed for toxic emissions that left more than 850 children with lead poisoning. Or there's Wenping, in central Hunan province, where days later 1,300 children were found to have been sickened by pollution from a manganese factory.

Do we know change when we see it? (China Dialogue, 8/27/2009) An agreement between the US and China on climate change and clean energy may be more significant than its detractors initially supposed, write Banning Garrett and Jonathan Adams.

Disaster wreaks changes to China, Taiwan, US ties (New Straits Times, 8/27/2009) The natural disaster also revealed changes in the geostrategic landscape. The United States sent military transport planes from Okinawa carrying relief supplies to Taiwan as well as heavy-lift helicopters that ferried excavation equipment into remote areas where roads and bridges had been damaged or washed away.

World faces hi-tech crunch as China eyes ban on rare metal exports (Telegraph, 8/24/2009) Beijing is drawing up plans to prohibit or restrict exports of rare earth metals that are produced only in China and play a vital role in cutting edge technology, from hybrid cars and catalytic converters, to superconductors, and precision-guided weapons.

TV interview on “Foreign Exchange” with Daljit Dhaliwal (The Green Leap Forward, 8/22/2009) Here’s a 7 minute television interview I did with the US television foreign policy program “Foreign Affairs”, discussing China’s clean energy policies.

Stiff jail term for polluting boss is the right decision (Shanghai Daily, 8/20/2009) My hat's off to the judges of Yancheng City who have sentenced the boss of a chemical factory to 11 years in prison on charges of knowingly poisoning local drinking waters.


A new atmospheric villain (Caijing, 8/26/2009) Unfortunately, China's reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions hasn't brought about a corresponding decrease in the potency of acid rain. This is likely due to rising levels of nitrogen oxides, a class of chemical pollutants that were not addressed in the emissions reduction plan.

Q&A: China’s pressing pollution problem (Reuters, 8/24/2009) Here are some questions and answers about pollution problems in China, the world's most populous nation.

Lead victims get relocation choice (Shanghai Daily, 8/22/2009) Authorities in northwest China's Shaanxi Province yesterday asked for public comments on relocation proposals, in the wake of the scandal of 851 children poisoned by heavy-metal discharges from a smelter.

The Climate Group preaches revolution (China Environmental Law Blog, 8/21/2009) The Climate Group launched its second homage to China’s low carbon efforts yesterday, “China’s Clean Revolution II : Opportunities for a low carbon future.”


China Sunergy 2Q profit falls 43 percent, beats Street (AP, 8/27/2009) Solar-cell maker China Sunergy Co. Ltd. on Thursday said its second-quarter profit fell 43 percent but stronger shipments pushed results beyond analyst expectations. The China-based company held to its previous shipment outlook.

Carbon emissions trading to become China’s new financial product (People’s Daily, 8/27/2009) Carbon emission trading will become a new financial product and be traded on China's exchanges, said Mei Dewen, general manager of China Beijing Environmental Exchange (CBEE) on August 26.

Sector update: Steel (liveMint.com, 8/27/2009) China has again turned to be a net steel exporter from being a net steel importer. This is a potential threat for the global steel industry, as China is seen as one of the key demand drivers for the steel industry globally.

China closes lead smelters and the price rises (Metal Miner, 8/27/2009) As a follow on from our article this week on metal poisoning in China, it is interesting to note that the London Metal Exchange lead price has surged 7.9% to $2,023 per metric ton, it’s highest level since September 2008, on news that China has responded to local unrest over the poisoning and closed lead smelters. According to the FT, Henan province has closed a third of its lead smelters.

Business park seeks industry/ecology balance (China Daily, 8/26/2009) A rare blend of commerce and conservation, the Qingdao Tonghe Ecological Industrial Park is set to blur the boundaries between economic imperatives and environmental responsibility. Located in the eastern province of Shandong, the park seeks to combine apparently contradictory concerns.

China’s lead scandals to spur industry mergers, Macquarie says (Bloomberg News, 8/27/2009) Lead poisoning cases in China, the world’s largest producer of the metal, may foreshadow mergers among smelters as the government cracks down on polluting producers, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. said.

Chinese solar firm revises price remark (New York Times, 8/26/2009) The chief executive of the biggest Chinese solar panel maker on Wednesday reversed a statement that his company was selling below marginal cost in the United States, while a leading solar company in Germany has begun calling for a “Buy European” rule.

China Energy Recovery wins strong support from local government for its new manufacturing plant ( PRNewswire-Asia, 8/25/2009) After months of site searching, CER has reached the major terms for the building site of its new manufacturing plant, which is located in an industrial park in Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province that is along the Yangtze River and close to Shanghai.

China’s Shandong Steel closes in on Rizhao (Financial Times, 8/25/2009) A hostile takeover of one of China’s largest non-state steel groups by a state-owned competitor could be finalised as early as next week in a deal that has heightened concerns about creeping renationalisation.

Honeywell signs energy conservation MOUs with Chongqing (ChinaCSR, 8/24/2009) Honeywell and a delegation to the United States consisting of government officials and enterprise representatives from Chongqing have signed two memoranda of understanding on energy saving and emission reduction.

China Henan shuts up to 240,000 lead capacity (Reuters, 8/24/2009) China's Henan, the top refined lead producing province in the country, has shut down up to 240,000 tonne of annual lead smelting capacity in recent days after lead poisoning was reported to have affected hundreds of children in Shaanxi province, smelter officials said on Monday.


Ban on scrap polysilicon to boost China solar sector (Reuters, 8/27/2009) A Chinese ban on imports of a waste material used for solar wafers may be bad news for foreign competitors but it is a big boost to China's solar sector.

India, China to collaborate on environment (The Hindu, 8/27/2009) India and China have agreed to set up a joint expert working group on the environment, which will explore how the two countries can combat global warming through reforestation.

China closer to huge gas deal (Xinhua, 8/27/2009) Australia gave final approval yesterday for development of a natural gas field that will export an estimated 41 billion U.S. dollars in energy to China over 20 years.

China boosts pandemic surveillance (Nature News, 8/27/2009) China is stepping up disease surveillance, drug stockpiling and vaccine development as fear of a second wave of pandemic influenza H1N1 intensifies.

Jail, fines for lake polluters to stand (Shanghai Daily, 8/27/2009) A final appeal court yesterday upheld the penalties to fine a firm in southwest China 16 million yuan (US$2.34 million) and jail three of its executives for polluting a major freshwater lake.

India on tiger hunt on China (Asia Times, 8/27/2009) Indian Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh - the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's first minister to visit China - is on a four-day trip to Beijing this week for bilateral talks on an array of ecological issues.

China cooperates with developing nations to address climate change, bilateral trade (Xinhua, 8/27/2009) China is seeking to step up cooperation with other developing nations including Mexico to address climate change while maintaining economic growth, Chinese Ambassador to Mexico told an audience at a university here Wednesday.

Climate change law to bring teeth to emissions mandates (China Daily, 8/26/2009) China's proposed climate change legislation will give the country more negotiating power in the upcoming international climate change treaty talks, and also make emissions control mandated by law, environmental experts say.

China builds sewage treatment plants among Songhua River (Xinhua, 8/26/2009) Northeast China's Jilin Province will have sewage treatment plants in all 36 counties along the Songhua River by the end of next year, environment authorities said Wednesday.

China moves to address overcapacity in emerging sectors like wind power (Xinhua, 8/26/2009) China's State Council, the Cabinet, warned Wednesday of overcapacity in emerging sectors such as wind power, saying the country would move to "guide" development troubled by overcapacity and redundant projects.

China vows to curb steel, cement, wind, silicon glut (Reuters, 8/26/2009) China's state council, the cabinet, said on Wednesday that it would restrict licences for steel and cement production to clamp down on overcapacity.

China plastic bag ban cuts 3 million tons of oil consumption (Bloomberg News, 8/26/2009) China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, may save as much as 3 million metric tons of oil a year by banning retailers from providing free plastic bags to shoppers, said the nation’s top economic planning agency.

China expert urges Africa to embrace agroforestry to sustain livelihood (Xinhua, 8/25/2009) A Chinese expert on Monday called on African countries to encourage small-scale farmers to embrace agroforestry policies to sustain environments and livelihoods.

China plans for renewable energy (China Daily, 8/25/2009) China's top legislature yesterday turned its attention to the creation of specific plans for more renewable energy, such as nuclear, wind and solar power.

Radiation concerns eased in Henan (China Daily, 8/25/2009) After radiation machinery in a factory in Qi county of Central China's Henan province, was repaired, Ye Min, vice director of the Safety Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection has declared the area safe, reported Xinhua Monday.

Lawmakers warn of epidemic animal disease threats in China (Xinhua, 8/25/2009) Chinese lawmakers warned Tuesday of a "grave hidden peril" of epidemic animal disease because of inadequate monitoring facilities and a complex international environment.

U.S. state of California plans energy-saving cooperation with Chinese provinces (Xinhua, 8/25/2009) The U.S. state of California is planning to cooperate with some Chinese provinces in energy saving projects, a senior state government official said here on Monday.

China resettles 50,000 herdsmen to protect environment of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Xinhua, 8/24/2009) Almost 50,000 herdsmen have bidden farewell to nomadic life and settled down in brick houses on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China during the past four years in a drive to protect the environment of a well-known nature reserve.

China considering renewable energy development fund (Xinhua, 8/24/2009) Chinese lawmakers are considering a government fund for renewable energy development, in a move to support the industry and strengthen governmental macro-economic regulation.

Gritty Chinese city seeks to shed “spitting” image (AP, 8/24/2009) Government-backed neighborhood groups are going door-to-door in south China's gritty business capital with a set of simple requests: Please stop spitting in public, cutting in bus lines and talking loudly in the streets.

Obama to visit China in November, focus on environment, energy (Bloomberg News, 8/22/2009) President Barack Obama will make his first official visit to China in November, seeking to foster collaboration on the environment, renewable energy and regional security, the new U.S. ambassador to China said.

WHO urges China to share swine flue vaccine (AFP, 8/22/2009) With a likely "explosion" of swine flu in the coming months, a leading WHO official has urged China to distribute vaccines to needy nations to help contain the disease.

Blair lauds China on climate change (Shanghai Daily, 8/21/2009) Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday in Beijing that China had made great progress in fighting climate change, and called for more international cooperation on the issue.

China backs down over PepsiCo, Coca-Cola pollution claims (AFP, 8/21/2009) China backed down Thursday on accusations that US soft drink giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are major water polluters after the companies rejected their inclusion on an environmental watch list.

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