Expert Blog

ChinaFAQs experts react to the latest headlines about China climate and energy issues.

Ranping Song and Hongpeng Lei
January 23, 2014

When Tianjin launched its carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) on Dec 26th 2013, it became the fifth ETS operating in China, following Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. Now that five of seven pilots have started trading and the rest are expected to start in 2014, the aggregate of all emissions regulated in China through the seven pilots will be the second largest in the world, following only the European Union.

Manish Bapna and Deborah Seligsohn
November 25, 2013

This article first appeared in the South China Morning Post.

Confronted with a cooling economy and global headlines declaring an “Airpocalypse”, China faces challenges on multiple fronts. While many people are quick to point out the hurdles, the reality is that its leaders are moving ahead with significant policy measures and reforms. If successful, these actions will not only help drive China’s economic development, they will address another mounting threat: climate change.

Jonathan Moch and Paul Joffe
November 22, 2013

Last week, China’s leadership met at the Third Plenum of the Central Committee to outline major reforms China will undertake over the next decade. While China faces multiple challenges, reforms related to greater environmental protection and low-carbon development were high on the agenda. China’s leaders understand the challenges and are taking actions that can have significant impact.

Deborah Seligsohn
November 14, 2013

When I went back to China this summer after my first year living outside of China in a decade I was not sure what I would find. The US press reporting on Chinese pollution had been so uniformly negative that I was not sure if somehow immediately after I left Beijing the improvements that had been taking place since the 11th Five Year Plan began in 2006 had suddenly stalled. What I found was quite to the contrary – new regulations that come into effect in 2014 are driving massive upgrades of the power sector and transforming the energy supply in central cities.

Jonathan Moch and Sarah Forbes
October 22, 2013

It is common knowledge that China burns a large amount of coal, with the fuel accounting for nearly 70% of China’s primary energy consumption in recent years. What is less commonly known is that China is also working on ways to reduce the impact of its coal use, including aggressively pursuing research and demonstration of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology.

Ailun Yang and Ryna Yiyun Cui
October 08, 2013

Last month, China’s State Council announced a new action plan to combat air pollution, which included a prohibition of new coal-fired power plants in the three most important metropolitan areas around Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (known as the “key-three city clusters”).1 This followed a previous announcement of a $275 billion investment by the central government in improving air quality. The action plan aims to tackle the increasingly severe air pollution problem in China, which is largely caused by its massive consumption of coal.

Jonathan Moch
September 15, 2013

China has recently announced a plan to tackle air pollution across the country. The plan includes setting regional targets on coal use and taking high-polluting vehicles from the streets. The plan also sets target levels for regional atmospheric pollution, with particular attention paid to reducing particulate matter, which is an especially severe problem in China.

Jonathan Moch
September 06, 2013

Building on the joint statement released by President Obama and President Xi in June, the two leaders have released another joint statement on the phase down of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). The recent joint statement shows that next steps will involve the creation of “an open-ended contact group to consider all relevant issues.”

Tianyi Luo, Betsy Otto and Andrew Maddocks
September 05, 2013

ChinaFAQs experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have projected that China’s coal use will peak in 2020 due to increasing energy efficiency and slowing energy demand. As ChinaFAQs expert Ailun Yang discussed, the continued expansion of coal in China faces many problems, such as economic problems with the power sector, strict control of energy prices, and the rising public concern over health and environmental impacts. In addition to these already substantial challenges, rising coal use in China will also run into substantial obstacles in the form of water stress.

Heshuang Zeng
September 05, 2013

This post originally appeared on TheCityFix.com.

The rapid growth of bus rapid transit (BRT) in China is leading to future opportunities to improve the overall quality of sustainable transport in China. Although the debate on who has the right-of-way on city streets remains, cities could still exert the maximum benefit of BRT by prioritizing the integration of BRT with other sustainable modes.

Transportation