Category Archives: China & Environment

China and environment



China pledges new impetus in climate efforts after 2020

China will inject new impetus into climate change efforts after 2020, and use its Belt and Road initiative to boost cooperation in the fight against global warming, State Councillor Wang Yi, the country’s top diplomat, said in a statement

11 JULY 2019

China has made major progress on air pollution. Wuhan protests show there’s still a long way to go

28 FEBRUARY 2018

Can China take the mantle on climate change leadership?

Beijing’s action on climate change so far has been driven primarily by domestic concerns rather than international pressure or concerns about the global effects of climate change. It has shown a reluctance to shoulder leadership at the United Nations. But technological and economic changes in China and a shift in statements made by Chinese leaders suggest that China could play a greater leadership role over time

25 NOVEMBER 2017

Li Keqiang: China will work with France on climate change

China is ready to work with France in a joint and positive effort to deal with climate change while maintaining multilateralism and an inclusive world economy, Premier Li Keqiang said when meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the Great Hall of the People

27 JUNE 2017

China’s ‘clean coal’ power: A viable model or cautionary tale?

Efforts to develop higher efficiency coal plants are being held back by regional differences in energy development writes

2 JUNE 2017

After Trump turns back on climate, China and EU vow to push Paris deal forward

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and officials representing the union sign agreement committing the two sides to fully implement the accord

5 MARCH 2017

China’s Premier Li Keqiang vows to tackle chronic air pollution

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is pledging to make the country’s smoggy skies blue again and “work faster” to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and electricity

9 JANUARY 2017

China: Beijing forms special police team to combat smog

China has announced plans to set up an “environmental police” force tasked with enforcing pollution restrictions across the capital Beijing in a bid to improve the city’s notorious air quality

30 NOVEMBER 2016

How China’s climate revolution can stop global warming

 With or without the cooperation of the US government, nations around the world have begun to take collective action against climate change. Could a new cap-and-trade market in China set a global example?


China pledges 18% carbon emissions cut by 2020

China’s cabinet issued a new climate plan targeting an 18-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020 compared to 2015 levels, the same day that the Paris Agreement of nearly 200 countries took effect


US, China ratify Paris climate deal, setting stage for G20

China and the United States ratified the Paris agreement to cut climate-warming emissions on Saturday (Sep 3), marking a major step toward the enactment of the pact as early as the end of the year and setting the stage for other countries to follow suit

23 APRIL 2016

China hopes to formally join climate change agreement before September

China announced on Friday that it will finalize domestic legal procedures to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before the G20 Hangzhou summit in September this year.

9 JANUARY 2016

Beijing to shut 2,500 firms this year to fight pollution

Beijing will close 2,500 small polluting firms this year in its latest effort to combat pollution, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday, citing the municipal government

19 DECEMBER 2015

China and Climate Change: Three Things to Watch After Paris

China has made its promises. Will it now deliver?

30 NOVEMBER 2015

COP21: China’s climate efforts far from sufficient

China is one of the biggest polluters in the world. The Asian economic giant, however, says it is committed to tackling the issue as the UN climate conference kicks off in Paris. But how difficult will that be for China?

25 NOVEMBER 2015

China defends coal use ahead of Paris climate summit

China’s special envoy on climate change, Xie Zhenhua, has defended the country’s decision to build more coal-fired power plants ahead of a global climate summit in Paris next week


France, China agree on climate change checks

China and France agreed Monday that an international deal to tackle climate change to be negotiated in Paris should include checks on compliance, in what visiting French President Francois Hollande called a “historic” step forward

19 AUGUST 2015

Climate: China’s emissions overestimated

The United Nations and other international bodies have vastly overestimated China’s greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade or more, according to a study released Wednesday

14 AUGUST 2015

Study: China’s Air Pollution Kills 1.6 Million a Year

A Berkeley Earth study of newly released air quality data from 1,500 sites across East Asia has found that airborne particulate matter contributes to 1.6 million deaths per year in China. That is equivalent to about 4,400 per day, and makes up approximately 17% of all deaths in China

27 MARCH 2015

China’s Never-Ending ‘War on Pollution’

On March 16, the Beijing municipal government announced it would close the last of its major coal-fired generating stations. By next year, China Huaneng Group’s 845-megawatt plant will cease operations. The capital city shuttered another one in 2014 and two more last week

7 MARCH 2015

China takes Under the Dome anti-pollution film offline

The authorities in China have a removed from websites a popular documentary which highlights the country’s severe pollution problem.

5 FEBRUAY 2015

Heavy smog caused over 250,000 premature deaths in 2013: report

Heavy air pollution in 31 provincial capitals and municipalities in the Chinese mainland could have caused some 257,000 premature deaths in 2013, according to a report released on Wednesday.

7 JANUARY 2015

China encourages environmental social groups to sue

China on Wednesday granted public interest groups more power to sue those that flout environmental protection laws, the country’s highest court said, as Beijing steps up efforts to curb pollution that regularly chokes major cities.

17 DECEMBER 2014

China’s glaciers retreat 18.5% since 1950s

The area of western China covered by glaciers has decreased by 18.5 per cent since the late 1950s, equivalent to the size of Cyprus, a recent survey shows

12 NOVEMBER 2014

US, China climate deal boosts hopes of global pact

A surprise deal between the United States and China on Wednesday could be a breakthrough moment in decades-long efforts to secure a global climate change pact, environment experts said


Report: Africa ivory smuggled on China visit

Chinese officials and businesspeople used a state trip by President Xi Jinping and other high-level visits to smuggle ivory out of Tanzania, an environmental watchdog has said.

22 OCTOBER 2014

China’s coal use falls for first time this century, analysis suggests

Drop of 1-2% in amount of coal burned offers ‘a window of opportunity’ to bring climate change under control, say Greenpeace energy analysts

22 OCTOBER 2014

How China is changing Environment (in good)

By John Papon

19 OCTOBER 2014

Masks donned at smog-hit Beijing marathon

Many competitors withdraw from race as pollution soars far above maximum levels recommended by World Health Organisation


China’s per capita carbon emissions overtake EU’s

New data on carbon shows that China’s emissions per head of population have surpassed the EU for the first time.


Chinese sturgeon ‘on brink of extinction’

The wild Chinese sturgeon is at risk of extinction, state media reported, after none of the rare fish were detected reproducing naturally in the polluted and crowded Yangtze river last year.


Waking the Green Tiger : The birth of China’s environmental movement

Editor’s note: The following article was originally published on website chinadialogue (requires proxy) in 2013, but remains relevant to an array of issues facing Yunnan today. It is reposted here in its entirety.

3 JULY 204

China sets up specialised pollution tribunal

China’s Supreme Court has set up a special tribunal to deal with environmental cases, it said Thursday as Beijing pushes a green agenda with public discontent over pollution rising

30 JUNE 2014

Special report: The victims of China’s soil pollution crisis

Rapid industrialisation has left a legacy of soil pollution that is damaging health and livelihoods in villages across China

12 JUNE 2014

China says over 20,000 people charged with environmental crimes last year

Chinese state prosecutors charged more than 20,000 people with environmental crimes last year and made more than 7,000 arrests, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday

12 MAY 2014

China detains 60 people over incinerator protest

China detained 60 people on Monday for their role in a violent demonstration that prompted officials to promise to suspend construction of a waste incinerator, local police said.

10 MAY 2014

Protesters in east China clash with police over waste incinerator plan

Protesters in eastern China clashed with police at a rally against plans to build a huge waste incinerator that residents fear will be harmful to their health and add to pollution.

25 APRIL 2014

China’s NPC adopts revised Environmental Protection Law

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, has voted to adopt revisions to the Environmental Protection Law. The revised Environmental Protection Law is the first change to the legislation in 25 years.

Beijing bans the hunting and trading of 420 animal species at risk of extinction

After years of requests from the international community Beijing recognizes this practice as a “global threat”. It involves pandas, rhinos, pangolins and sharks: used in traditional medicine or considered “treats” these animals are in danger of disappearing. The penalties for violating the new law range from 3 to 10 years in prison

23 APRIL 2014

China says more than half of its groundwater is polluted

Nearly 60% of China’s underground water is polluted, state media has reported, underscoring the severity of the country’s environmental woes

18 APRIL 2014

Report: One fifth of China’s soil contaminated

Conducted between 2005-2013, it found that 16.1% of China’s soil and 19.4% of its arable land showed contamination

12 APRIL 2014

China water contamination affects 2.4m after oil leak

China’s biggest oil company has been blamed for water contamination affecting over 2.4 million people in Lanzhou

9 APRIL 2014

Can China win the war on air pollution?

Coal and cars are the culprits largely responsible for the thick, soupy air that frequently envelops cities like Beijing, Harbin and Shanghai — rendering their skylines invisible and turning day into night. Not surprisingly, this air is dangerous to breathe

31 MARCH 2014

Hundreds protest against Chinese chemical plant

Hundreds of protesters in southern China marched against a chemical plant and environmental degradation on Sunday, in a demonstration that the Maoming city government called a “grave violation” by criminals causing chaos

5 MARCH 2014

China to ‘declare war’ on pollution

China’s prime minister has vowed to tackle the country’s environmental crisis, making a “war” on pollution one of his nine “major tasks” for 2014

26 FEBRUARY 2014

China smog sees face masks sell out

China’s biggest online face mask sellers are running out of stock, with consumers rushing to protect themselves against smog that has shrouded swathes of northern China for an entire week“Even-Mao-is-wearing-a-mask”-in-smog-choked-China-30412.html

12 FEBRUARY 2014

China to set up $1.65bn fund to tackle air pollution

The Chinese government said on Wednesday said it will set up a 10 billion yuan ($1.65bn) fund to fight air pollution, offering rewards for companies that clean up their operations.

1 JANUARY 2014

Pollution Threatens China’s Food Security

A Reuters report this week noted that nearly 3.33 million hectares (eight million acres) of Chinese farmland are too polluted to grow crops. The article, which was re-posted by the state-run China Daily news site, quoted Wang Shiyuan, China’s vice minister of land and resources