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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Examining the U.S.-China Agreement for Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment

The U.S. and China, the world’s two largest global warming polluters, signed an agreement last week that recognizes the “very important role” that both countries have in combating climate change, and commits both countries to “respond vigorously” to the challenges of energy security, climate change and environmental protection through ambitious domestic action and international cooperation. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Transparency and China’s Recent Pollution Accidents (UPDATED)

Let’s say information about factory emissions of toxic metals was readily available to the public in Hunan and Shaanxi provinces.  Would more than 1,600 children still have been poisoned by lead or cadmium recently? Or would local citizens instead have had the information about health risks in their midst needed to protect themselves or to push the local government and factory officials to take necessary steps to protect the community?  Could these pollution problems have been resolved before they reached such a late and devastating stage?  Would there have been the sort of unrest seen in recent days? My colleague … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(1)

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CCTV-9’s Dialogue Focuses on Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI)

Ma Jun, director of the Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), and I appeared on the August 23, 2009 edition of CCTV-9’s Dialogue television program to discuss the Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), our effort with IPE to evaluate and rank government environmental information transparency in 113 Chinese cities (see here for background).


I note a few highlights after the jump, but please feel free to take a look at the entire show. Let us know what you think. We are continuing to work on a full report of our findings, which will be released in early 2010. Environmental transparency has critical implications for pollution in China (including recent heavy metal accidents around the country) and climate change discussions going forward (as I note here).
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Recent Energy and Climate Change News in the Chinese Media

As the world gears up for the Copenhagen talks in December, we’ve expanded our environmental news coverage to also focus on what the Chinese media is saying about climate change. Stephen Leonelli, our new Princeton-in-Asia fellow, will be researching and writing the climate change-focused news column each week.
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A Lotus Growing out of the Heart – A Visit to the Huai River Guardians

Two weeks after escaping from the scalding heat of Beijing, I sat down once again at a computer and began to think about my trip in July to Henan to see what the Huai River Guardians were doing. In order to investigate and research environmental information transparency, Lindsay Beck, an intern from the University of Toronto, and I met with Bai Linxi and Huo Daishan, the person in charge of Huai River Guardians. As the second-place winners of the 2009 Alashan SEE Ecological Award, what is it that the Huai River Guardians do? With this question in mind, on July … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Criminal Liability for Spreading Toxic Substances: the Magic Solution for Environmental Protection?

The February 20th water pollution incident in Yancheng, a city in Jiangsu Province, is still fresh in our memory. Back then, the Biaoxing Chemical Company had emitted large quantities of carbolic acid-contaminated wastewater into the Wuzhi River for more than three months; Hu Wenbiao, Biaoxing’s chairman, and Ding Yuesheng, the factory director, were fully aware that their company was violating the law by releasing the highly toxic wastewater. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(1)

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Recent Environmental Law and Public Participation News

Lead-stricken town mayor’s apology fails to make up for lack of information disclosure (Google translation)
After Chinese media revealed on August 6 that hundreds of children in the Fengxiang area of Shaanxi Province had dangerous levels of lead in their blood, the mayor of Baoji City, a town in the affected area, did not make any public apologies or announcements until 12 days later. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(2)

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The Shaanxi lead poisoning incident and other stories: a China pollution round-up

In recent weeks, Chinese media has been awash in news about pollution accidents or other incidents around China.  Here is an overview: Lead poisoning in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province: more than 600 children were found to have lead poisoning (see here and here also) [Update: The smelter has been shutdown in the wake of unrest.] Cadmium poisoning in Liuyang County, Hunan Province (see here also). 78 officials sued over ‘environmental neglect’ in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. 4,000 people sickened by tap water contamination in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia (see here also). An ammonia gas leak in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia: … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(2)

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Four ways the U.S. and China can start cooperating now to reduce emissions and tackle climate change together

The recent high-profile visits to China by leading members of Congress and the Obama administration have made it clear that China and the U.S. are taking climate change seriously and recognize the importance of working closely together to find ways to reduce global warming pollution. Although China and the U.S. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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High-emitting Vehicles in China

Vance at the livefrombeijing blog has a very useful post discussing China’s ‘yellow-label’ vehicles program.  We recommend it. A recent Xinhua article carried this quote: “High-emission cars and trucks only make up 28 percent of all automobiles in China, but they are responsible for 75 percent of the pollutant emissions,” [MEP Official Li Xinmin] said. … The pollutant amount discharged by a high-emission vehicle is 30 times as much as a Standard IV automobile, according to Li. Based on this, it is clear that one critical component of a comprehensive vehicle emission control program is controlling “high-emitting” vehicles. In this post, … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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