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Author Archives: Alex Wang

Documentary on China’s environment nominated for an Oscar

Warriors of Qiugang, the excellent short documentary on China’s environment that I blogged about earlier this month, has been nominated for an Oscar. As I mentioned in my previous post, this film is required viewing if you want to understand at a visceral level how local citizens are fighting to save the environment in China.  If you have not seen it yet, the 39-minute film is available in full at the Yale e360 site. Sam Geall at China Dialogue has a nice article about the film as well. Congratulations to Ruby Yang and Tom Lennon!

The Warriors of Qiugang – A New Documentary on the Struggle to Save China’s Environment

A great deal has been written about the struggles to resolve China’s overwhelming environmental problems, but I have seen no better or more visceral portrayal of these issues than The Warriors of Qiugang, a short documentary film by Academy Award-winners Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon that is being broadcast in full at the Yale e360 website beginning today.  The film, shot over four years mostly in a village near the Huai River in eastern Anhui Province, captures a series of indelible scenes of the efforts of one village to stop pollution from local chemical factories that blackened rivers, killed fish, … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

Progress and Retreat for Environmental Transparency in China: Announcing the 2009-10 Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) Results

Environmental transparency in China showed both progress and retreat over the past year, and many implementation challenges still remain. This was one of the overall findings of the second annual Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), which the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and NRDC launched in Beijing earlier this week. PITI is an assessment and ranking of environmental transparency in 113 cities commenced by IPE and NRDC in 2009. This year’s PITI launch included for the first time participation from local Chinese environmental officials. Representatives from Ningbo (the top ranked city in the PITI ranking), Chongqing (the top … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

Farewell to Liang Congjie, founder of China’s first environmental NGO

This blog is co-authored with Barbara Finamore.

This past week Liang Congjie, one of the founders of Friends of Nature (FON) and the godfather of China’s environmental movement, passed away. The establishment in 1994 of FON, China’s first legally registered environmental group, paved the way for the creation of more than 3,000 registered, and many more unregistered, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China today.
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What to make of China’s efforts to meet its energy intensity targets

Adam Moser at Vermont Law School’s China Environmental Governance blog drew a contrast between a blog post of mine discussing China’s efforts to meet its energy targets, and a post by Michael Levi at the Council on Foreign Relations positing the view that China’s energy statistics “have become pretty meaningless.” Mr. Moser frames our posts as being on opposite sides of the argument (“circus or savior”), but it is perhaps more accurate to say that we are looking at different aspects of the same picture.
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China Looks to the U.S. to Learn From the Clean Air Act, Even as Some in the U.S. Seek to Dismantle It.

It is remarkable that the U.S. Clean Air Act is under attack these days. Have we come to take the blue skies in the U.S. so for granted that magazines are running columns with titles like “Clean Air Act: Defend or Dismantle?” I have worked for NRDC in Beijing for the last five years, and no one in this great city takes a blue sky day for granted. They are too precious and rare a commodity. Let us not forget, as Peter Lehner recently pointed out, that the Clean Air Act is what prevents the air in the U.S. from … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

Announcing the Release of the Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) in English

We are pleased to release the English version of our 2008-09 Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), a collaboration between the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). As you may recall, PITI is an evaluation and ranking of environmental transparency in 113 Chinese cities. We released these results (in Chinese) last summer and the response has been very positive.

At the end of last year, we learned that China Economic Times, an influential national Chinese newspaper, selected PITI as one of the top ten environmental events of 2009, saying:

[PITI] can be called a model of non-governmental organizations playing their role of supervising government. Here, NGOs have not simply relied on passion and a spirit of protecting environmental interests, but have drawn from the power of expertise, and used legal channels and dialogue with the government. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

China: Racing Toward the Finish Line on its Energy and Environmental Targets

I am in Tianjin this week for the climate talks, and the mood, compared to Copenhagen, has been subdued. In contrast, all around China government officials and factory owners are working themselves into a frenzy to meet their share of China’s 20 percent energy intensity reduction target. The headlines have been stunning. Across the country, a massive effort has been mobilized to eliminate backwards production capacity, control growth in energy intensive industries (like steel and cement), and a variety of other efforts. In August, China released a list of over 2,000 factories with outdated equipment that had to be shut … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

NYU To Celebrate Prof. Jerome A. Cohen, Founder of the China Law Field – Sept 7 – NYC

If you are in New York early next month, please come out for this NYU Law event in honor of Professor Jerry Cohen’s 80th birthday. My wife (who heads the ABA’s China Program) and I feel privileged to be on a panel with some of the pioneers in the China law field. For those with a particular interest in environmental law, note that Professor Benjamin van Rooij, who has written one of the best books out there on China’s environmental governance, will be a co-moderator for the panel. Elizabeth Lynch, author of the excellent China Law & Policy blog, has written a description of the event (copied below):

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Huo Daishan recipient of 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award

NRDC would like to congratulate our partner Huo Daishan for being named as one of recipients of the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Award, known to many as Asia’s Nobel Prize.  Mr. Huo has been a passionate advocate for the Huai River, China’s third largest and most polluted river, since the 1980s.  Initially, he documented the pollution of the river as a photographer.  In 1998, he began doing this as a full-time job and in 2000 he formed the organization Huai River Guardians.  The many accomplishments of the organization include monitoring and testing water quality, pushing companies to implement pollution-control measures, raising … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)