Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: China

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China’s Action Against Plastic Pollution

The government’s plan to tackle internal and imported plastic waste is the latest phase in China’s clean energy commitment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Although China’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and air pollution have received global attention and coverage, the country’s significant steps to reduce solid waste pollution have been … Continue Reading

Carbon Markets Must Balance Stability and Adaptability When Implementing Emissions Trading Systems

As China begins to implement its emissions trading system, the country may look around the globe for regulatory guidance. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China established its national emissions trading system (ETS) as a key component of the plan to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The country’s participation in the … Continue Reading

The Success of China’s Efforts to Decrease Harmful Pollution Levels

China cuts fossil fuel consumption to achieve clean energy goal, but must carefully balance the consequences for Chinese citizens. By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In tandem with China’s significant economic growth over the past three decades, coal emissions have soared, increasing from 446 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 2017. Coal … Continue Reading

China to Expand Environmental Regulatory Authority

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection’s increased authority over climate change and pollution control issues indicates a greater enforcement role for central government. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate The Chinese government has announced a major reorganization of China’s ministries that comprise the Chinese central government at a session of the 13th National People’s Congress in … Continue Reading

China Plans New Energy Ministry to Replace the National Energy Administration

China’s new energy ministry demonstrates the country’s continued commitment to environmental protection and renewable energy. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate Recent comments from senior communist party leaders indicate that the Chinese government intends to establish a new Ministry of Energy to streamline and consolidate authority for energy-related issues. The responsibility for these issues … Continue Reading

China’s Ban on Waste Imports Upending Global Recycling Market

China implements ban on imported waste, stimulating plastic waste-exporting nations to develop alternative manufacturing, consumer products, and recycling strategies. By Paul Davies, Bridget Reineking, and Andrew Westgate Following China’s notification to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2017, the country is now phasing in a ban on certain types of waste imports. The new Chinese … Continue Reading

China Launches Ambitious National Emissions Trading System

By Paul Davies, Andrew Westgate, and Bridget Reineking China’s chief economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has today announced the launch of its national Emissions Trading System (ETS). The ETS is an ambitious effort that likely will surpass every other emissions trading system in the world, including that of the European … Continue Reading

Green Bonds Offer a Solution for China’s Green Finance Challenges

By Paul Davies, Bridget Reineking, and Andrew Westgate Since establishing the People’s Bank of China’s Green Finance Task Force in 2014, China has encouraged green financing mechanisms through a variety of pioneering initiatives. For example, the country has designated five green finance pilot zones, within which financial institutions are incentivised to provide credit and special … Continue Reading

New Environmental Bureau to Regulate China’s Natural Resources

By Paul Davies, Bridget Reineking, and Andrew Westgate President Xi has announced the creation of a new environmental bureau to oversee China’s state-owned natural resources. Establishment of the new bureau is one of the most notable outcomes of the recent meeting of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party, and follows Xi’s pronouncement that … Continue Reading

Factories Shut Down Across China in Unprecedented Environmental Crackdown

By Paul Davies, Bridget Rose Reineking, and Andrew Westgate In recent months, teams of inspectors from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Communist Party’s anti-corruption commission have conducted a slew of surprise inspections of various industrial facilities throughout China. Estimates suggest that China has temporarily closed as many as 40% of the country’s factories … Continue Reading

President Xi Jinping Pledges Sustainable Development to Build a “Beautiful China”

By Paul Davies, Bridget Rose Reineking and Andrew Westgate At the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping asserted his country’s emerging leadership in environmental stewardship and pledged to build a “beautiful China”. In his speech to the 2,300 delegates and guests assembled for the Congress’s opening session, President Xi lauded China’s … Continue Reading

China Encourages Green Finance to Meet Clean Development Goals

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 18 October 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will convene, after the week-long National Day holiday, marking one of the most important dates on the Chinese political calendar. Among the issues that National Congress members will surely discuss, is the importance of implementing strategies … Continue Reading

China’s War on Pollution: Measuring the Economic Impact

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China’s State Council released an “Opinion Concerning Establishment of a Long-Term Mechanism for Early-Warning and Monitoring of Environmental and Natural Resources Carrying Capacity,” which will halt major projects in heavily polluted areas, according to a report from the official Xinhua news agency. The opinion also calls for authorities to … Continue Reading

China Unveils Plan to Ban Fossil Fuel Vehicles

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Addressing a car forum in Tianjin, Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, announced that the Chinese government is developing plans to follow in the footsteps of some European countries to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles. “Some countries have worked out a timetable to stop production and … Continue Reading

China Dominates Global Investments in Renewable Energy

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Market research has long recognized China as the largest investor in its own domestic renewable energy industry. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested US$102 billion in 2015 alone. However, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that China’s dominance in renewables … Continue Reading

Proposed Draft Legislation Clamps Down on Soil Pollution in China

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 22 June 2017, Chinese legislators released draft proposals to combat soil pollution in China at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The legislation complements the State Council’s ambitious plan to address soil pollution – an area not specifically covered by Chinese environmental law … Continue Reading

Will Tougher Environmental Laws Mean Measurable Change for Pollution in China?

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In reforming and updating its environmental laws, China has until recently been focusing on air pollution. Attention is now turning to addressing water and soil pollution as well. For example, the Chinese government is now considering more robust penalties for those responsible for water pollution, indicating that the government … Continue Reading

U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Creates an Opening for China to Lead

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced during a speech at the White House that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, fulfilling a campaign pledge to end the agreement that the President argued would harm the U.S. economy. Supporters of the Paris Agreement had lobbied for … Continue Reading

China Increases Focus on Electronic Waste

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate As a world leader in the manufacturing of electronic devices, China is beginning to reform its rules and regulations to ensure that the resulting framework is able to keep pace with the rapid developments now taking place in this sector both in China and globally. Two recent developments in … Continue Reading

Belt and Road Forum Positions China as Leading Proponent of Global Trade

By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Andrew Westgate Leaders from around the world, including 20 heads of state, attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15. The attendees at the forum agreed on guiding principles for the initiative, and the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the New Development … Continue Reading

Ministry of Environmental Protection Steps-up “War on Pollution”

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Earlier this month, during a round of surprise inspections, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection Zhao Yangmin publicly shamed the city officials of Langfang, a city in Hebei province, for failing to take action after a severe pollution warning was issued on April 2, 2017.  Deputy Minister … Continue Reading
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