Latest from ChinaFAQs

New Weapons in the War on Pollution: China's Environmental Protection Law Amendments

This post originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog:

On Thursday, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, approved major amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law (EPL), the first since the law was enacted 25 years ago.

These amendments are a game changer.

China Approves Amendments to Environmental Protection Law

On Friday the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress voted to approve amendments to China’s Environmental Protection Law. These amendments mark the first time China’s Environmental Protection Law has been updated in 25 years.

The amendments include tougher penalties for polluters, including no limits on fines imposed on polluters and the potential of up to 15 days in prison for managers of enterprises that do not comply with the new amendments.

How U.S.-China Cooperation Can Expand Clean Energy Development

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

One year ago, the United States and China declared in their Joint Statement on Climate Change that “forceful, nationally appropriate action by the United States and China—including large-scale cooperative action—is more critical than ever. Such action is crucial both to contain climate change and to set the kind of powerful example that can inspire the world.”

China’s performance on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index: What are the key takeaways?

Amidst headlines detailing off-the-charts air pollution in Beijing, it may come as a surprise that China’s latest environmental scorecard does boast bright spots. The 2014 Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) – a biennial global ranking of how well countries perform on a range of critical environmental issues – ranks China at 118 out of 178 countries. With respect to other emerging economies with rapid growth and development, China does not fare as well overall as Brazil (77th), Russia (73rd), or South Africa (72th), but is considerably ahead of India, which ranked 155th. However, China is a leader in addressing climate change and is taking corrective action to address weaknesses.

3 Ways the US and China Can Work Together for Responsible Shale Gas Development

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

As China charts its energy future, the country is setting its sights on natural gas. The Chinese government aims to double the share of natural gas in its energy mix by 2015—including unconventional sources like gas from shale and coal-bed methane. Shale gas development in China is still in the nascent, exploratory phases, but estimates place China’s shale gas reserves among the largest in the world.

Panel: China’s Clean Energy Challenges

In a panel at the Brookings Institution moderated by ChinaFAQs expert Kenneth Lieberthal, ChinaFAQs experts Sarah Forbes, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Jane Nakano discussed the challenges and prospects for China’s clean energy future. Sarah Forbes discussed China’s natural gas sector, focusing especially on shale gas. Kelly Sims Gallagher discussed China’s coal sector and the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies. Jane Nakano discussed China’s nuclear energy future.

For the full transcript and a recording of the panel see: “China’s Clean Energy Challenges

Emissions Trading in China: First Reports from the Field

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.