Bohai Sea Oil Spill, June 2011

 

1. Acid Rain levels decreasing across China
The Ministry of Environmental Protection this week released statistics that showed fewer cases of acid rain fall in China in the first half of 2015. The proportion of the country affected by acid rain was 7.6%, a 2.6% drop on last year's measurements. The areas most affected by acid rain are the urbanised and industrialised Pearl River Delta, the Yangzi River Delta and Chongqing.

2. Court in Qingdao agrees to hear oil spill lawsuit
The massive oil spill which devastated over 5,500 square km of the Bohai Sea in June 2011 has, thankfully, not been forgotten. This week a court in Qingdao, Shandong Province, accepted a law case against the two state-owned companies, the China National Offshore Oil Corp and Conoco Phillips Co., the latter of which was the company operating the two offending oil rigs back in 2011. The case was brought to the court by the Chinese NGO China Biodiversity and Green Development Foundation and the court's accepting of it shows a genuine will to hold environmental offenders to account. Keep an eye on this landmark case!

3. 'China's Green Leap Forward'
Sustainable Development Fellow, Cynthia Kao, paints a positive picture of "the greening of China's energy structure." The boom in renewables is not without its problems though, Kao reminds us. She notes government subsidies as limiting to the sustainability of the green energy sector and the need for smart grid measures. China is faced with not only some of the biggest challenges in terms of renewable energy, but also some of the greatest opportunities.

4. From Crisis to Opportunity
Meanwhile, writing for the Huffington Post, Deborah Lehr of the Paulson Institute argues that "the most ambitious environmental reform program in history" which China is currently implementing offers enormous potential for business. She uses a recently published Goldman Sachs report to note five key areas of green business growth; soil remediation, solid and hazardous waste management, wastewater treatment, clean energy (see above), and pollution monitoring equipment.

5. Happy Birthday! World's Oldest Panda turns 37
Jia Jia has seen a lot since she was born in 1978, the first year of China's world-changing Reform and Opening Up policy. Since then her homeland has changed beyond recognition, as has her adopted home of Hong Kong, where she moved to celebrate the second anniversary of the territory's return to China. 37 is old for a panda, who normally live to around 20 years old, and Jia Jia is now suffering from arthritis and high blood pressure. For her special day, however, she seemed to be in fine shape.