September 03, 2013
Both CPNC and Sinopec are lagging behind two emissions goals. They have made no progress in cutting their nitrogen oxide emissions, which are actually on the rise, despite demands to cut these emissions by 8 percent by 2015 (from 2010 levels). A greenhouse gas, nitrogen oxide can also become toxic when bonded with other chemicals and produce acid rain.
In addition, cuts in sulphur dioxide are behind annual goals of 10 percent reduction every year from 2010 to 2015. Sulfur dioxide is a potent air pollutant, which can cause respiratory problems and premature death.
In August, China announced it would invest $275 billion over the next five years in cleaning up air pollution in the greater Beijing area and surrounding cities. The Chinese public has become increasingly vocal over the nation's vast environmental problems, which have been in part caused by China's meteoric economic growth over the last few decades.
China is currently the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas fueling global warming, although its per capita emissions still lag behind a number of developed countries.
The headquarters of China National Petroleum Corporation in Beijing. Photo by: Charlie Fong.
|AUTHOR: Jeremy Hance joined Mongabay full-time in 2009. He currently serves as senior writer and editor. He has also authored a book.|
China pledges $275 billion over 5 years to cut record air pollution
(08/19/2013) Last week China announced it was going to spend over a quarter of a trillion dollars ($275 billion) to fight rampant and life-threatening pollution in its urban centers over the next five years. Recent decades of unparalleled economic growth has taken a drastic environmental toll in China, including record air pollution levels in Beijing. The announcement follows other news, including that the Chinese government has recently scrapped a massive 2,000 megawatt coal plant project near the cities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Chinese lose 2.5 billion years of life expectancy due to coal burning
(07/08/2013) Chinese who live north of the Huai River will lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years of life expectancy due to the extensive use of coal burning in the region, concludes a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In age of climate change, Australia's vast coal fields could become worthless
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China to begin cutting carbon emissions one city at a time
(05/23/2013) China has unveiled details of its first pilot carbon-trading program, which will begin next month in the southern city of Shenzhen. The trading scheme will cover 638 companies responsible for 38% of the city's total emissions, the Shenzhen branch of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Wednesday. The scheme will eventually expand to include transportation, manufacturing and construction companies.
China approves another mega-dam that will imperil endangered species
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What if companies actually had to compensate society for environmental destruction?
(04/29/2013) The environment is a public good. We all share and depend on clean water, a stable atmosphere, and abundant biodiversity for survival, not to mention health and societal well-being. But under our current global economy, industries can often destroy and pollute the environment—degrading public health and communities—without paying adequate compensation to the public good. Economists call this process "externalizing costs," i.e. the cost of environmental degradation in many cases is borne by society, instead of the companies that cause it. A new report from TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), conducted by Trucost, highlights the scale of the problem: unpriced natural capital (i.e. that which is not taken into account by the global market) was worth $7.3 trillion in 2009, equal to 13 percent of that year's global economic output.
China to phase out super greenhouse gas
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