Latest from ChinaFAQs

Indian-Chinese Environmental Relations in the Year of the Tiger

The BASIC Countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa) have set their next climate coordination meeting for January 24 in New Delhi, and that looks like just part of an environmental relations thaw between India and China, countries that still have territorial disputes dating from their 1962 border war. What better way to win friends than to increase tiger protection, especially right before China ushers in the Chinese zodiac Year of the Tiger, which would likely even increase the demand for the popular Traditional Chinese Medicinal use of tiger bone. The animals are hunted illegally in India and smuggled to China, and for many years Indian conservationists have asked China for help in combating the trade.

After Copenhagen, China Strengthens Domestic Clean Energy Policies

Since the Copenhagen Conference the Chinese government has engaged in international debate on the meeting’s meaning, but the external tumult does not appear to have affected its efforts to move forward on policies to reduce carbon intensity.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Your ChinaFAQs team has been in the swirling currents of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations for over a week, attending press conferences and listening in the corridors, but now the negotiators are running out of time. Before dawn today, the BBC World News led with the story that the sticking point in the negotiations is whether China will allow intrusive review of its progress on slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the media can’t resist a food fight, and all week the press has been filled with reports of verbal missiles supposedly being hurled by American and Chinese negotiators. We’ve also seen exaggerated portrayals of the supposedly-huge chasm separating the U.S. and China on questions like whether the U.S. will provide funds to China for clean technology and the extent of monitoring and review of China’s action.

WRI: New Supercritical and Ultra-Supercritical Coal-Fired Power Plants Installed Annually, by Capacity

In 2008, China’s National Development and Reform Commission adopted a standard requiring all new coal-fired power plants to be state-of-the-art commercially available or better technology. As a result, today most of the world’s most efficient (supercritical and ultra-supercritical) coal-fired power plants are being built in China.

WRI: International Comparison of GHG Emissions by Sector, 2005

Since nearly three quarters of China’s GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy, new Chinese energy policies will have a profound impact on China’s contribution to global warming. While China has traditionally avoided policies that explicitly target GHG emissions, its energy and forestry programs have provided the framework for its National Climate Change Program.

WRI: Energy Consumption by Sector

China’s energy mix is unusually tilted toward industrial uses, and thus improvements in the industrial sector have large overall impacts.

WRI: Comparison of Chinese and U.S. Energy Statistics

Today, each Chinese citizen produces only one fifth the GHG emissions of an average American consumer, and China still has many unmet energy needs. Most Chinese have a much lower standard of living than the average American. Half the Chinese population has no access to winter heating, and most have limited access to motorized transportation. Therefore, the challenge for China in the short term is to reduce the rate of growth of its GHG emissions as it strives to meet the growing energy demands of its people.