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View Diary: China-Present & Taiwan-Past (11 comments)

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  •  China's Changes (2+ / 0-)
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    John Crapper, RiveroftheWest

    At the major Chinese Communist Party convention last Autumn, they endorsed a statement that China could not develop the way that the rest of the world has because there are not enough Earths to allow it.  It was interesting to me that they used that specific phraseology, thinking in terms of one Earth and multiple Earths.

    This may be a significant change in thinking but... it will have to lead to significant changes on the ground, in the water, and throughout the winds to make a real difference.  This will be difficult for a variety of local, bureaucratic, and procedural reasons.

    Here are my notes from a recent lecture on Chinese environmental regulation:
    Zhu Xiaoqin, Xiamen Univ Law School  and Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School

    More than half of China suffers from haze, smog, air pollution with particulates under 2.5 microns (pm 2.5) with most coming from transboundary emitters, vehicles, and coal
    Pollute first, clean up later and energy-intensive development models have been the norm
    In 2011 China consumed nearly 50% of the world's coal consumption, 3.8 billion tons and rest of the world 4.3 billion tons
    By 2012, China became the #1 producer of cars
    Original air pollution control and prevention law enacted in 1987, amended in 1995 but unsuccessful, amended again in 2000 focusing on SO2 and particulate matter 10, with draft amendments submitted to ministry of enviro protection in 2010.  2000 amendments included no measures on NOX, vehicle pollution, no specific air quality requirement for local gov, no regional monitoring, no public litigation
    Prof Zhu suggests enviro as a priority, prevention of significant deterioration, and include air quality assessment in evaluating local govs, enforce pollution discharge permits, set standards of vehicle source pollution, stiffer fines for violations, publicize air monitoring data, air pollution emergency procedures, permit enviro public interest litigation

    2007 China began to address climate change
    2009 has a goal of reducing CO2 emissions per unit GDP
    2011 five year plan targets lowering carbon intensity and increasing non-fossil fuel energy to 11%
    2010 low carbon province and city initiative
    2012 began pilot carbon trading in 5 cities and 2 provinces (Guangdong and Hubei)
    2013 Beijing doing carbon trading
    2012 November an expert group is drafting a climate change law
    Proposed law includes a carbon tax which will pay for renewables
    Air pollution law and climate change law will be administered by different ministries, MEP and national development and resource commission (NDRC)
    2011-2015 China will have invested $161 billion in energy conservation and emission reduction

    Q: why now?
    China is suffering from pollution and climate change, facing energy bottlenecks, seeing serious protest from people
    Q: carbon intensity is not necessarily a measure to reduce emissions?  Chinese public attitude on climate change?
    Yes, growing economy with lower carbon intensity may still result in higher emissions.
    Local govs and enterprises aware of and working towards efficiency and emissions reduction

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