Expert Blog

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

Deborah Seligsohn
August 02, 2011

The many climate and energy pieces of China’s 12th Five Year Plan appear to be moving into place. Most recently, Chinese Climate Change Minister Xie Zhenhua announced that China was about to come out with a full plan for the 17% carbon emissions reduction target in the Plan (2011-2015). In March, China announced an initial set of initiatives to control the growth in carbon emissions, and the 17% figure is part of the larger goal or reducing emissions by 40-45% by 2020.

Deborah Seligsohn and Sarah Forbes
July 28, 2011

China’s Climate Change Minister Xie Zhenhua offered a new phrase to emphasize the importance of technologies to reduce carbon in a speech at a major international conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Beijing, July 27. Minister Xie said that China’s energy and environment policies support “energy efficiency and carbon reduction” (jieneng jiantan).

Deborah Seligsohn
July 12, 2011

Environmental news in China has seen some real highs and lows of late, ranging from the opening of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail to a severe oil spill.

Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Rail a Sell-Out

Trains began running on the new high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai on June 30. Formerly a trip that could take over 12 hours, the new trains can make the 820 mile journey in less than 5. In contrast, a trip of equivalent distance from Washington, DC to Orlando by train takes over 16 hours.

Industry, Transportation
Luke Schoen
June 09, 2011

In what appears to be a mutually-satisfactory outcome to a 9-month trade dispute resolution process initiated by the United Steelworkers (USW), China has agreed to end its “Special Fund for Wind Power Equipment Manufacturing” subsidy program that provided grants to domestic wind power producers favoring Chinese-made components over imports. In September 2010, the USW petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative to investigate several Chinese programs it said were against WTO rules. After reviewing the petition, in December the USTR requested formal dispute settlement consultations with the WTO concerning this wind subsidy program.

Deborah Seligsohn
June 07, 2011

As it has for over a decade, previously as the State Environmental Protection Administration and since 2008 as the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), China’s MEP issued its annual “State of the Environment Report” last week. In presenting the 2010 report at a press conference on Friday, June 3, Vice Minister Li Ganjie frankly stated that while some environmental indicators “kept on turning better” – mainly sulfur dioxide emissions – “the overall environmental situation is still very grave and is facing many difficulties and challenges.”

Luke Schoen
June 01, 2011

China has remained the most attractive destination for clean energy investment for a full year, followed by the U.S., according to the most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices compiled by consulting firm Ernst & Young. The report showed China increasing its rating from 71 to 72 on a 100-point scale last quarter, followed by the U.S. unchanged at 67. As Bloomberg reports, the report attributed China’s gain to its increased focus on offshore wind and concentrated solar power, in addition to new renewable energy targets in its 12th Five Year Plan.

Deborah Seligsohn
May 26, 2011

Recent weeks have seen a spate of announcements concerning environmental harms ranging from those stemming from the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, to heavy metal pollution and increasingly vigorous enforcement actions by China’s Environmental Ministry.

Deborah Seligsohn
May 12, 2011

The latest meeting of the US –China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was held May 9 and 10 in Washington, DC and the two outcomes papers are out: The Strategic Track, which is essentially political, but also covers climate and energy, and the Economic Track, which is led by Treasury, but covers a number of trade and investment issues of interest to the energy industry.

Luke Schoen
May 12, 2011

Bill Gates, the world-famous billionaire founder of Microsoft who has more recently become a supporter of clean energy, has added his voice to the growing chorus of top American CEOs calling for the U.S. to maintain its lead in innovation.

Deborah Seligsohn
April 28, 2011

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researchers present new “bottom up” data

A group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, including ChinaFAQs Network Experts,1 has come out with a new and much more detailed projection of China’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through 2050. The result of this more intensive, “bottom up” analysis is good news for global energy security and the climate. The group’s projection suggests that Chinese energy use could actually plateau before 2050 and greenhouse emissions could peak between 2025 and 2030.