Expert Blog

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

Angel Hsu, Max Song, and Jonathan Smith
December 02, 2011

Interview with China energy expert Jiang Kejun, Energy Research Institute, NDRC

As the first week of the UN climate negotiations in Durban are underway, one of the most persistent themes has been how to bridge gaps - the divide between the developed and developing countries, many of whom disagree about whether the Kyoto Protocol should be extended into a second commitment period; the hole in climate finance pledges from developed countries; and the ambition or emissions gap between the Copenhagen pledges and the stabilization of global temperatures below a 2 degrees Celsius increase from pre-industrial levels.

Deborah Seligsohn and Angel Hsu
November 23, 2011

As its negotiators head to Durban, South Africa for the next round of the UNFCCC climate negotiations, China can point to significant progress in domestic climate policy since the Cancun negotiations a year ago. March, 2011 saw the adoption of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, binding domestically China’s first phase of its Copenhagen and Cancun commitments to reduce its carbon intensity 40 to 45 percent by 2020. In this first year of the new Five Year Plan, China also adopted a number of specific climate-related implementation measures (For a more exhaustive list, see China’s just published White Paper on its climate change activities).

ChinaFAQs
November 22, 2011

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii last week, Chinese President Hu Jintao joined US President Obama and other APEC leaders in signing a pledge to cut tariffs on an undesignated list of environmental goods and services to 5 percent by 2015. APEC members also pledged to eliminate domestic content requirements on goods and services by 2012. Together, the 21 APEC economies account for 60 percent of global trade in environmental goods and services, and the global market for environmental technologies in 2008 represented $782 billion, with nearly $300 billion in the US, according to a US Commerce Department estimate. A spokesman for one organization representing US manufacturers hailed the commitment as a “huge” outcome. Read the full story at Reuters

Deborah Seligsohn
November 22, 2011

Just last week the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) announced public consultation for new regulations that would establish a standard for small particulate matter (PM 2.5), an important public health advance. China’s official media outlet Xinhua reported the new standard, which MEP proposes bringing into effect nationwide by 2016, and that Shanghai believes its monitoring capacity is sufficiently ahead of this timeline to implement as early as next year. We have heard elsewhere that Beijing, too, is likely to move earlier than 2016. MEP’s announcement and an FAQ describing the policy are already on the web in Chinese, but the English-language website has not yet been updated. The Xinhua report also noted the importance of public pressure in bringing about environmental improvements.

Deborah Seligsohn
November 15, 2011

Beijing’s poor air quality earlier this month, akin to what was routinely seen in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s, garnered global headlines. Both Chinese and international press have focused on the differences in monitoring between China’s air quality index and a monitor for small particulates located at the US Embassy in Beijing.

Deborah Seligsohn
October 24, 2011

China once again hosted its largest wind power expo, China Wind 2011, surpassing last year’s exhibition with the number of companies and the exhibition floor space increasing by 50%. Not surprisingly for an event in Beijing, the China market continued to be a major focus, but this year there was much more sense of a global market with increasing interest in new emerging markets, in particular Latin America.

Joanna Lewis
October 03, 2011

In the wake of the Solyndra bankruptcy and amidst reports of an impending trade dispute against China’s solar subsidies, many are asking how US solar manufacturers can possibly compete with Chinese manufacturers. Sure, Chinese solar companies now dominate global solar photovoltaic (PV) markets (see figure below), but that does not mean the US is not still playing an important role in the solar industry. If we just look at how many solar panels are being manufactured here, we miss the more important metric—the total value created by the solar industry in the United States. A significant portion of the revenue from solar projects comes not from manufacturing the panels themselves, but site preparation and system installation, which must be done locally with local jobs.

Deborah Seligsohn
September 23, 2011

Beijing hosted a series of international meetings over the last week and a half, primarily connected to cleaner coal technologies, but also involving the partners in the US-China Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC), which include clean coal, energy efficient buildings and advanced vehicles. The primary draw to Beijing was a ministerial meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), a US-initiated group to advance carbon dioxide capture, use and storage (CCUS), which China hosted for the first time.

Barbara Finamore
September 20, 2011

Originally appeared on Barbara Finamore’s NRDC Blog on Sept. 15, 2011

China’s State Council recently announced its work plan for energy-savings and major pollutant emissions reductions through 2015 (“Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction Comprehensive Work Plan for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) Period”). This key guiding document for realizing China’s energy and environment goals sets mandatory energy intensity and major pollutant emissions targets for provinces and highlights a number of key policies to achieve them.

Policy and Governance
Worldwatch Institute
August 19, 2011

Aurthors Dr. Jihua Pan, Haibing Ma, and Dr. Ying Zhang discuss the potential for China’s green development strategy to generate jobs in energy, transportation, and forestry in a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.

“Over the past decade, and especially during the 11th Five-Year period of 2006–10, China has prioritized green development in almost all of its leading economic sectors.