Latest from ChinaFAQs

The Lighter Side of Climate

China’s Biggest Earth Day Ever

On a lighter note, news is out that China’s enormous Bird Cage Olympic Stadium will host a free concert for peace and green right before Earth Day on April 17 this year. Organizers have not explained how they are financing a free concert or how the tickets will be distributed. As others have noted, big concert events like this have run aground in the past in China. Earth Day has been increasingly popular in China in recent years, with numerous conferences as well as public awareness events. Global Village Beijing launched its anti-plastic bag campaign on Earth Day a few years ago, and ultimately that effort resulted in Beijing’s ban on free shopping bags.

Struggling to Keep the Lights On

China seems finally to be emerging from a very cold spell, but not before struggling to cope with the increased energy demands associated with extreme cold. The Chinese press reported rationing of both gas and power in a number of Chinese cities and suggested the problems stemmed from coal shortages after the closure of 1000 coal mines in the past year for safety and environmental reasons.

Indian-Chinese Environmental Relations in the Year of the Tiger

The BASIC Countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa) have set their next climate coordination meeting for January 24 in New Delhi, and that looks like just part of an environmental relations thaw between India and China, countries that still have territorial disputes dating from their 1962 border war. What better way to win friends than to increase tiger protection, especially right before China ushers in the Chinese zodiac Year of the Tiger, which would likely even increase the demand for the popular Traditional Chinese Medicinal use of tiger bone. The animals are hunted illegally in India and smuggled to China, and for many years Indian conservationists have asked China for help in combating the trade.

After Copenhagen, China Strengthens Domestic Clean Energy Policies

Since the Copenhagen Conference the Chinese government has engaged in international debate on the meeting’s meaning, but the external tumult does not appear to have affected its efforts to move forward on policies to reduce carbon intensity.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Your ChinaFAQs team has been in the swirling currents of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations for over a week, attending press conferences and listening in the corridors, but now the negotiators are running out of time. Before dawn today, the BBC World News led with the story that the sticking point in the negotiations is whether China will allow intrusive review of its progress on slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the media can’t resist a food fight, and all week the press has been filled with reports of verbal missiles supposedly being hurled by American and Chinese negotiators. We’ve also seen exaggerated portrayals of the supposedly-huge chasm separating the U.S. and China on questions like whether the U.S. will provide funds to China for clean technology and the extent of monitoring and review of China’s action.

WRI: New Supercritical and Ultra-Supercritical Coal-Fired Power Plants Installed Annually, by Capacity

In 2008, China’s National Development and Reform Commission adopted a standard requiring all new coal-fired power plants to be state-of-the-art commercially available or better technology. As a result, today most of the world’s most efficient (supercritical and ultra-supercritical) coal-fired power plants are being built in China.

WRI: International Comparison of GHG Emissions by Sector, 2005

Since nearly three quarters of China’s GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy, new Chinese energy policies will have a profound impact on China’s contribution to global warming. While China has traditionally avoided policies that explicitly target GHG emissions, its energy and forestry programs have provided the framework for its National Climate Change Program.