Environmental China, January 15th to January 22nd, Issue 43


Refusing to eat shark’s fin at a Chinese dinner (BBC, 1/21/2010) Having vowed to eat everything she was offered as part of her research into Chinese food culture, Fuchsia Dunlop recently found this aim came into conflict with her environmental conscience.

Solar hops: US-China cooperation; Provinces get going; Suntech shining strong (The Green Leap Forward, 1/21/2010) Its been a while since we’ve had an extensive discussion of China’s solar market. Here, we catch up with some of the major the developments in this space over the past half year or so. A new US-China dynamic highlighted by two-large scale projects, policy action by provincial-level governments, and lots of activity by Chinese solar poster child Suntech, and more!

Assessing China’s 11th Five-year plan energy conservation programs (The Green Leap Forward, 1/18/2010) A look at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s analysis on the energy conservation programs in China’s current five-year plan. For those of you in Beijing on Jan 20, you may listen to Dr. Mark Levine present these very findings at the Beijing Energy & Environment Roundtable (open free to public!). Details here.

Beware the GM giants (China Dialogue, 1/18/2010) Biotech firms are rapidly gaining ground in global agriculture. China must take a stand or else face risks to food security, argues Jiang Gaoming.


Chinese smog clouding US skies, Scientists say (Sphere, 1/21/2010) A big culprit for a recent rise in upper-level air pollution in the western United States is ozone wafting over the Pacific Ocean from Asia, a new study suggests.

Ozone from China (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/21/2010) Ozone from Asia is wafting across the Pacific on springtime winds and boosting the amount of the smog-producing chemical found in the skies above the Western United States, researchers said in a study published in the journal Nature. Ground-level ozone has dropped in cities thanks to tighter pollution controls, but it has risen in rural areas in the Western U.S.

China oil demand up 4 pct; coal import pace to slow (Alibaba, 1/21/2010) China's demand for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, will grow by about 4 percent this year, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Friday.

Huge water reserves discovered in northwest China basin (People’s Daily, 1/21/2010) Two giant groundwater reservoirs have been discovered in the Qaidam Basin, China's highest basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, said geologists Thursday.

Dam forces relocations of 300,000 more (China Daily, 1/21/2010) At least another 300,000 people living near the Three Gorges Dam will have to be relocated to protect the environment. This is in addition to the 1.138 million people already relocated for the world's largest hydropower project, a local migration official said yesterday.

Going pantsless for the environment in China (Tonic, 1/20/2010) A group in China uses pantlessness to draw attention to and raise awareness of the environmental and global climate.

Extreme cold affects millions in northwest China (AP, 1/20/2010) Closed roads and delayed flights left thousands of travelers stranded Tuesday following blizzards and extreme cold that killed four people and affected 1.6 million others in northwestern China, a government spokesman said.

WWF says China’s wild tigers face extinction (AFP, 1/19/2010) The World Wildlife Fund warned on Tuesday that the wild tiger faced extinction in China after having been decimated by poaching and the destruction of its natural habitat.

Health fears over Chinese villagers clearing up toxic rocket debris (Guardian, 1/19/2010) Hydrazines may cause respiratory problems, nausea and organ damage as 2,000 villagers recruited to clear up in Guangxi

China’s E-bikes: Less-than-perfect pioneers (Wall Street Journal, 1/19/2010) China’s experiment with electric bicycles is worth looking at because it represents the first-ever widespread adoption of an electric vehicle for commercial use. Their explosive development has posed all sorts of challenges, both in terms of regulation and pollution.
It’s a big technological jump to cars from the smaller electric bikes, scooters and tricycles on China’s streets today. But some of China’s e-bike makers are already looking at how to take part in that transition, including Luyuan Group by leveraging their experience in battery technology and electric motors.

Romeo and Juliet of China captured in Karst (Circle of Blue, 1/18/2010) Sadly, I have never been to Shilin — the “Stone Forest” in Yunnan Province, China. But like many Chinese, I have been captivated since I was a small child by the tragic love story of Ashima. This ancient folktale is intertwined with the towering spires in Shilin — it is Romeo and Juliet in karst stone.

Scientists discover avian influenza outbreak closely related to bird migration (Xinhua, 11/16/2010) A research jointly conducted by Chinese and Asian scientists has discovered that highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak was closely related to bird migration.


Eco-friendly models dominate line (Hardware and DIY, 1/21/2010) China suppliers of wood and bamboo flooring are focusing on environment-friendly designs amid growing ecological awareness in the key markets of the US and the EU.

All’s well that’s Anwell (AsiaOne, 1/21/2010) China might have disappointed many in the recent Copenhagen summit, but some environment watchers feel that it has come a long way to commit itself towards cutting carbon emissions.

New high-tech industrial park in China investigates water reuse for new plants (Water Online, 1/21/2010) Black & Veatch and Zhongying Precious Metal Company Ltd., are investigating advanced technologies that would provide sustainable options for two new wastewater treatment plants. The plants will treat domestic and industrial waste at a new industrial park in the Lunggang District of Shenzhen. One treatment option under investigation would provide for potential water reuse applications.

China can be pre-eminent market for air and water trading (Trading Markets, 1/21/2010) Having setting up the only carbon exchange in North America, Richard Sandor, chairman and founder of Chicago Climate Exchange, said Thursday that China can become the pre-eminent market for trading air and water at the Asian Financial Forum here.

Sinopec Zhenhai refinery to try heavy crude (Alibaba, 1/21/2010) The Zhenhai Refinery of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, has started refining Castilla Blend crude oil imported from Columbia, sources reported.

China’s renewable energy industry develops rapidly (People’s Daily, 1/21/2010) China's renewable energy industry is still developing rapidly and China made important progress in photovoltaic (PV) power generation, and the installed capacity of China's wind power generators reached 22 million kW last year, said officials from the National Energy Administration at the China Forum on New Energy.

Analysis: China’s shipbuilding rush holds dangers (iStockAnalyst, 1/21/2010)

It has been about one year since China adopted its shipbuilding stimulus plan. Apart from pledges to support Chinese shipbuilders financially, the stimulus plan focuses on the necessity to control overcapacity in the industry.

China’s biggest coal terminal shut by strong gales (Bloomberg, 1/20/2010) Qinhuangdao, China’s biggest coal port, was shut for the second time in three days as strong gales disrupted shipments of the fuel to users on the country’s eastern and southern coasts. The northern port has halted operations since 3 a.m. local time today, David Fang, a director at the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association, said by telephone in Beijing.

Cadmium in Chinese jewelry causes uproar (Greentech Info, 1/19/2010) Cadmium levels in children's jewellery sometimes exceed 90 per cent. The fact that the items were manufactured in China and exported to the US has caused great havoc in public debate in both countries.

Tracing Kunming, China’s freshwater hazards (Circle of Blue, 1/19/2010) The ground quakes with a blast as the limestone fragments are blown from their roots, like giant white teeth shattered and unmoored. Nearby, a worker prepares his drill to place another stick of dynamite deep within the rock. He stops for a moment, places his foot high on the rubble and surveys the vast construction landscape that will soon become China’s fourth largest airport.

CNPC says global rivalry to affect China oil imports (Bloomberg, 1/19/2010) Rising global competition and volatile energy prices will affect Chinese oil imports, making it more difficult to guarantee domestic fuel supplies, China National Petroleum Corp. said.

Bankrupt tycoon Chen captures Chinese wastelands in photographs (Bloomberg, 1/18/2010) In May 2001, life, as Chinese property tycoon Chen Jiagang knew it, “closed in like flood waters.” A court in China’s west-central city of Chengdu had declared the entrepreneur bankrupt, stripping the 38-year-old of assets to pay off creditors and leaving him with no money to buy even a meal of boiled rice, said Chen, now 46. This descent from being one of the nation’s richest men under Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 pro-capitalist economic reform program to pauper was like “free-falling into hell.”


Low-carbon tourism zone established near Beijing (ChinaCSR, 1/22/2010) According to the website of the China National Tourism Administration, a low-carbon tourism zone as been established in Miyun county that is claimed to be the first of its kind.

China to set up first national industrial transfer zone (Xinhua, 1/22/2010) China's government has approved plans to build its first national-level industrial transfer zone to encourage the relocation of low-end industries from coastal regions to inland areas.

Tangshan to invest CNY 6 billion fighting pollution in 2009 (Steel Guru, 1/22/2010) According to the press conference of Tangshan, Hebei province that the city has cumulatively accomplished nearly 900 pollutant source control projects in 2009 with a total input of about CNY 6 billion.

24-hour keeping watch to protect Lhalu Wetland (People’s Daily, 1/21/2010) A campaign for protecting the Lhalu Wetland in Lhasa, capital of Tibet has gained effective results by 24-hour keeping watch and patrol, according to Lhasa Environmental Protection Bureau.

Watching how you tread (Xinhua, 1/21/2010) - Since the United Nation's climate change conference in Copenhagen last month, low carbon tourism has seen a rise in popularity, with many travelers keen to reduce their carbon footprint while on vacation. China Tourism Administration recently announced low carbon development strategies as part of their plan to accelerate tourism, in an effort to minimalize the environmental impact of traveling.

Underground city plans not ‘hollow’ ideas (China Daily, 1/21/2010) Dongcheng district will dig and clear out 8 sq km of underground space in the next 20 years to fill with public constructions including shopping malls and subterranean roads.

Regret on Himalayan glaciers estimate (New York Times, 1/20/2010) An international scientific panel overseen by the United Nations expressed “regret” on Wednesday for publishing an unsupported estimate of the speed at which Himalayan glaciers were melting.

Hospitals to receive smoking checkups (China Daily, 1/20/2010) An independent special taskforce will be established to conduct surprise checks at medical institutions, including hospitals and health administrations, across China this year to enforce the ban on smoking, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Monday.

China chemical plant fire poses no threat to Russians – ministry (ITAR-TASS, 1/19/2010) The recent fire at a chemical plant in the Chinese Jilin province poses no threat to the life and health of Russians. According to the daily monitoring of the environment conducted by services of the Russian Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Agency (Rosgidromet) and Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service (Rospotrebnadzor), no deviations from the norms of toxic agents’ content in the air, water and soil have been registered in the Amur region, Jewish Autonomous Area, Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories over the past 24 hours, the Far East regional centre of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry reported.

China’s help on jellyfish sought (Japan Times, 1/19/2010) Japan will ask China to conduct joint studies of the massive encroachment of giant jellyfish off China that has proved a headache for the Japanese fishery industry, according to diplomatic sources.

Watery data: China counts the drops (Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2010) China, in its first-ever nationwide water resources survey will attempt to quantify just how much water it has, how much it needs and how much pollution is part of the flow.

China to expand smoking bans as health awareness rises in world’s largest tobacco consumer (CP, 1/17/2010) China is tightening smoking regulations to ban lighting up in any indoor public spaces in seven provincial capitals, the latest sign of rising health awareness in the world's largest tobacco-consuming nation.

China’s Xinjiang reports food-and-mouth disease outbreak (Xinhua, 1/16/2010) The Ministry of Agriculture on Friday said foot-and-mouth disease involving 28 cattle hit Korla city in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

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