Xi Jinping, Bali 2013, APEC 2013

Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali 2013, photo from APEC 2013

China to have world’s largest carbon trading system

China will launch the world’s largest carbon trading system in 2017, President Xi Jinping announced in his state visit to Washington DC. By incentivising big polluters to reduce emissions, this will bring China a large step closer to meeting its climate targets and give further impetus to the movement away from coal and to renewable energy sources. Moreover, this will place huge pressure on the US, the world’s second largest emitter, to implement similar measures. (See a mash up of US politicians using China as an excuse not to launch a carbon trading system here. No excuses left, Congress!)

Making Binhai safe again

Cleaning up after the hazardous chemicals blast that devastated Tianjin’s Binhai port area last month will be unprecedentedly complex. The quantities and types of chemicals, along with the nature of their extremely sudden dispersal, also makes it difficult to assess the environmental impact of the disaster. The clean up will be a major challenge for authorities, and must be done with utmost care.

New plan will clarify responsibility for natural resources across China

On 21 September, the Chinese government issued a plan which will comprehensively delineate ownership and usage rights of natural resources. For years complicated, overlapping and unclear systems of ownership, usage and responsibility have allowed local authorities to over-exploit resources and neglect the environmental impact. The plan also promises greater public participation in monitoring the use of natural resources.

Poll reveals pollution amongst top concerns in China

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that air pollution and water pollution come second and third only to corruption as issues of concern to the Chinese public. This is good news. Concerned citizens = pressure on government, businesses and other members of the public to change their polluting habits.

Eco-cities, what are they good for?

In China there are at least 200 ‘eco-cities’ currently being constructed. But how ‘eco’ are these new developments? Or is the eco-city tag little more than greenwashed and profit turning urban development? This article exposes many of the failures of eco-cities around China and, sadly, suggests the latter.

Masks fit for models

British fashion brand Freka has launched a range of designer pollution masks. Will they appear on the catwalks of China soon?