Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: China

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China Policy for Lender Liability in Green Finance Guidelines

By Paul Davies, Gary Gengel and Andrew Westgate In April 2015, the Final Report of the People’s Bank of China’s Green Finance Task Force made 14 recommendations to facilitate the establishment of China’s green finance system. Recommendation 13 proposed the imposition of lender liability on banks to force financial institutions “to take environmental impact into … Continue Reading

US and China Ratify the Paris Climate Agreement

By Paul Davies and Michael Green Prior to the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 4 September, China and the US ratified the Paris Climate Agreement during a ceremony in Hangzhou, China. This commitment from the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitters is expected to prompt developed nations in Europe to follow suit. The adoption of the Paris Agreement … Continue Reading

China to Promote Green Finance at G20

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Now in its eleventh year, The G20 Summit heads to the city of Hangzhou, China – the first time a G20 summit has been held for heads of state in China. As this years’ destination, China is maximising its role as the host nation to not only highlight its … Continue Reading

China Continues to Lead Global Investment in Solar and Wind Projects But Curtailment Remains an Issue

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate. According to a recent report released by Clean Energy Pipeline, global clean energy backing in the first half of 2016 totalled US$116.4 billion. China was the largest investor, financing US$15.3 billion worth of solar and wind projects and accounting for nearly 30% of the world’s total solar and wind … Continue Reading

Green Bonds: Green Striping to Fuel China’s Green Economy?

By Paul Davies and Aaron Franklin China has become the world’s largest green bond market, with green bonds issued in the first half of 2016 reaching 75 billion yuan (US$11 billion), 33% of the world total. This figure is approximately two percent of the total assets of China’s commercial banks, and demand for green bonds … Continue Reading

China Releases Ambitious Plan to Address Soil Pollution

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 28 May, the State Council, China’s highest administrative body, released the Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution (currently available only in Chinese) to address one of the nation’s most difficult and pressing environmental issues.  This ambitious plan, developed in the wake of increasing consciousness of soil … Continue Reading

Earlier Peak Emissions in China’s Most Developed Cities

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate At the China-US Climate-Smart / Low Carbon Cities Summit held in Beijing on June 7 and 8, 2016 the world’s two largest carbon dioxide emitters announced expanded co-operation in their efforts to counter climate change. One of the most important results of the summit was the signing of a memorandum … Continue Reading

Shanghai Set to Improve Air Quality Ahead of G20 Summit

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In advance of the first ever G20 summit to be hosted in China this year, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau issued a revised, short-term air quality plan to improve local air conditions ahead of the summit. China has undertaken similar efforts to achieve a temporary smog lift in advance of other … Continue Reading

China Sustains Green Bonds Momentum

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Green bonds, which tie the proceeds of the issuance to investments that have positive environmental and/or climate benefits, are a rapidly growing asset class. Recent figures have corroborated the narrative of growth predicted by industry experts. In the first quarter of 2016, green bonds totalling US$17 billion were issued … Continue Reading

China Ramps Up Renewables

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China has made notable strides to transition towards a lower-carbon economy. Most recently, local authorities were ordered to halt construction of coal-fired power plants in 13 provinces where capacity already outstrips demand. Demonstrable of its efforts to end reliance on coal and invest in green alternatives, China is ramping … Continue Reading

Shanghai Issues Draft of Revised Environmental Protection Regulations for Public Comment

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate The Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress has released the revised Shanghai Environmental Protection Regulations (in Chinese only) for public comment. The revised Regulations, which first came into force in 1997, apply exclusively in Shanghai, one of China’s most prosperous and business-intensive regions and are an example of China’s continued commitment … Continue Reading

China Cuts Down on Carbon as Coal Falls Out of Favour

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) have ordered local authorities to stop construction of coal-fired power plants in 13 provinces where capacity already outstrips demand. A further 15 provinces will be required to delay construction of previously approved coal-fired power plants. These provinces … Continue Reading

China One of First Countries to Sign Paris Agreement

By Paul Davis and Andrew Westgate China, along with leaders from more than 150 countries, today signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement in New York. New York Signing Update Following final negotiation on December 12, 2015, today marked the first day that countries could formally sign the Paris Agreement. At the United Nations headquarters in … Continue Reading

New Chinese Soil Pollution Law Planned for 2017 Could Be Accelerated

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On Sunday, China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s state-run broadcast network, aired a report claiming that nearly 500 students apparently developed illnesses (including leukemia) at a school built on contaminated land. Of the 2,451 students that attend Changzhou Foreign Languages School in Jiangsu Province, 493 (one in five) were … Continue Reading

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – Planning for a Greener Economy

By Paul Davies China’s 13th Five-Year Plan – Planning for a Greener Economy Last month China’s thirteenth “Five-Year Plan” (FYP13) was approved, setting out a social and economic development blueprint for the country for the next five years. The plan lays out specific economic targets such as GDP growth rates and social development goals in … Continue Reading

China Revises Hazardous Substances Restriction Laws

By Paul Davies, Andrew Westgate and Alice Gunn China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has recently announced a revised version of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS 1), which will come into effect on July 1, 2016. The revised legislation (RoHS 2) has significant implications for domestic and international companies manufacturing electrical and … Continue Reading

China Gives Green Light for Green Bonds

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China has launched a green bond pilot initiative via the Shanghai Stock Exchange, encouraging further foreign investment in a rapidly growing asset class and paving the way for issuances by non-financial institutions. This initiative closely follows the publication of green bond guidelines in December 2015 by the National Association … Continue Reading

China’s NDRC Issues New Carbon Trading Guidance

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s central economic planning agency, issued several guidance documents relating to the upcoming national Emissions Trading System (ETS) in January this year. The documents, released in Chinese only, include: the forms that companies will be required to use to report their annual … Continue Reading

China Progresses with Increased Environmental Accountability for Industry and Government Authorities

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate This month, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), the country’s most senior prosecution and investigation authority, issued a statement analysing the initial six months of its pilot programme launched in July 2015, which seeks to increase environmental accountability for industry and government authorities. Aimed at expediting public interest claims, the … Continue Reading

What Multinationals Need to Know About China’s Amended Environmental Protection Law

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Despite a more challenging business environment, China remains a key market for multinationals. China’s economic growth rate might have slowed, but its GDP is still rising at a faster rate than most other countries. As China enters the next phase of its economic growth, the government continues to implement reforms … Continue Reading
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