CAI-Asia China Project E-Newsletter Issue No.7, 2010
Air Quality, Energy, Transport, and Climate Change in China
CAI-Asia China Project E-Newsletter
Issue No.7, 2010
(Compiled by Shan HUANG)
NEW!! CAI-Asia portal: http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/
Included in this issue:
- Shanghai to ensure clean air for World Expo
- China draws up plans for national renewable energy center
- HK to set up 300 mln HKD Pilot Green Transport Fund: financial chief
- Tackling climate change 'urgent,' Hu says
- National survey takes the lid off China pollution
Commute chokes as thick fog falls in Beijing (February 26, 2010)
The first fog of the Year of the Tiger descended upon Beijing yesterday, causing traffic delays and poor air quality.
The fog hit the city during morning rush hour, reducing visibility to less than one kilometer on the east side and leaving the scene not much better throughout the rest of the city, said Liao Xiaonong, the chief weather forecaster from the Beijing meteorological bureau.
"The atmospheric surface layer was rather humid and the humidity could not be dispersed because there was no wind, so the foggy weather will last until tomorrow's daytime," she said yesterday, adding that the forecast of fog can only be made one day in advance.
Shanghai to ensure clean air for World Expo (February, 26, 2010)
Shanghai and its neighboring regions are implementing a string of measures to guarantee good air quality and a healthy environment for the upcoming World Expo 2010 to be held in the city from May 1 to Oct. 31.
The Shanghai environmental protection bureau told Xinhua Friday that the measures mainly targeted coal-fired power plants and other polluting sectors, boilers, furnaces and kilns, volatile organic pollutants, dust, motor vehicles and agricultural burn-off.
The measures would have long-term effects and continue after the World Expo 2010, said bureau chief Zhang Quan.
HK$800m to tackle roadside pollution: FS (February 25, 2010)
HONG KONG: Addressing the increasingly important issues of environmental protection, Financial Secretary John Tsang has announced that the government will spend more than HK$800 million to tackle roadside pollution sources.
In his budget delivered yesterday at the Legislative Council, Tsang set aside HK$300 million for a three-year pilot green transport fund, initially only for public transport operators to apply for, to encourage the transport sector to switch to greener fuels and technology.
The government will also introduce a three-year subsidy scheme to replace Euro II-standard engine models, which are more polluting than more recent designs, in commercial vehicles, through spending from a HK$540 million fund. Its previous HK$3.2 billion subsidy scheme for pre-Euro and Euro I models will expire next month.
Shanghai improves meteorological services for World Expo (February, 15, 2010)
Shanghai, which will host the World Expo 2010, is ready to provide online live broadcasting service on major meteorological disasters, local meteorologists said Monday.
A map of geological distribution of meteorological disasters in Shanghai has been completed on the basis of historical data about frequencies of such disasters.
During the Expo that will be held in the city from May 1 to Oct. 31, warning services against extremely high temperature will also be provided for local residents and visitors from outside the city, helping ease negative effect from undue heat on human health.
Cleaner air for Asian Games in S. China's Guangzhou (February 10, 2010)
Authorities Guangzhou, capital city of southern China's Guangdong province, are facing a tough job to ensure better air quality during the upcoming Asian Games, as the event comes at a time of year that has been "relatively bad" for air quality in the city's history.
Sources with the Guangdong provincial environmental protection department said that Guangzhou reported "bad air quality" in October and November in the past four consecutive years.
The 16th Asian Games, the world's second largest sports event, will be held in this city on Nov 12 to 27 this year.
From October to December, every year for the past four years, 34 to 51 percent of the days have registered level III or lower level air quality in the city, official sources said.
Natural gas output rises by 7.7% in 2009 (February 14, 2010)
Although China's natural gas output rose by 7.7 percent last year, it was still not enough for ever rising domestic demand, data released by an industry association said.
The country produced 83 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year, while consumed 87.45 billion cubic meters, up 11.5 percent year on year, according to figures released by the China Petrochemical Industry Association.
China runs first sugarcane-leaf power plant (February 27, 2010)
China's first power plant using sugarcane leaves has been put into operation in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The factory, annually using 200,000 tonnes of agricultural wastes including sugarcane leaves and tree barks to generate electricity every year, started production in Liucheng County Friday.
The station has an annual capacity of 180 million kilowatt hours and can cut the emission of 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 600 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, and 400 tonnes of dust compared to coal-fired power plants with the same efficiency.
China draws up plans for national renewable energy center (February, 10, 2010)
China plans to build a national renewable energy center to further support development of the industry, an energy official said yesterday.
The center will be responsible for policy-making, key project and program management, market and industrial operations, database and information platform establishment and international exchange program coordination, Han Wenke, director general of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday.
The establishment of the center is still in the preliminary planning stages, Han said at the launch of the Sino-Danish Renewable Energy Development Program.
The Danish government will invest 100 million Danish krone (130 million yuan) in the program, which is slated to last until 2013.
ADB loans $135M for China's green power plant (February 8, 2010)
MANILA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday said it has approved a $135 million loan to help China build a coal-fired integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, whose carbon dioxide emission rate is only one tenth of a usual coal-fired plant.
The $419.59 million project, scheduled to be completed in northern city of Tianjin by 2012, will be the first IGCC plant in a developing country and can generate up to 1,470 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year, the Philippines-based development lender said.
China to set coal industry access system (February 8, 2010)
Revised Coal Laws will for the first time set the industry access system for the sector, the China Securities Journal reported Monday, citing sources with the China National Coal Association.
The source also said that the revision of the Coal Law and the establishment of the Energy Law were listed in the working plan of the State Council.
Sources with the National Energy Administration revealed that some chapters of the Energy Law would be adjusted based on China's energy strategic plan and the global climate change, according to the report.
Shanghai residents prefer public transport during Expo (February 21, 2010)
SHANGHAI: More than 95 percent of respondents would prefer mass transit during the Shanghai Expo this year, backing the municipal government's call for people to use public transport during the event, the municipal traffic authorities said Sunday.
As of Saturday, statistics collected by eastday.com and shjjw.gov.cn, the website of Shanghai Urban Construction and Communication Commission, showed that 49 percent of the residents polled would prefer taking the metro.
And 22 percent of those surveyed pick buses, while six percent favor the Expo lines (a section of the metro). As nine percent of the respondents choose chartered buses, nine percent of the people surveyed prefer ferries. Only five percent said they would prefer taking other means of transportation during the Expo.
Chinese railways brace post-festival travel rush (February 17, 2010)
BEIJING - China's Ministry of Railways (MOR) said Tuesday it was requiring local branches nationwide to be ready for the post-Spring Festival travel rush as rail passenger numbers usually rise sharply starting from the third day of the Lunar New Year.
The MOR said railways carried 3.5 million passengers Monday, up 54 percent from Sunday, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Travel green to Expo (February 26, 2010)
The Shanghai 2010 World Expo organizer on October 13, 2009 issued green commuting guidelines in conjunction with the city's environment authority and the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit organization.
The guidelines encourage people in Shanghai to take public transport or walk to the Expo site to reduce carbon emissions.
Chinese people should take trains and coaches rather than planes, the guidelines said. They also suggested foreigner visitors buy carbon credits to compensate for their plane trips' emissions.
HK to set up 300 mln HKD Pilot Green Transport Fund: financial chief (February 24, 2010)
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang Wednesday proposed to set up a 300 million HK dollars Pilot Green Transport Fund for application by the industry, initially by the public transport operators.
Delivering the budget proposals for the fiscal year 2010-11 at a Legislative Council meeting, Tsang said the move was aimed to encourage the transport sector to test out green and low-carbon transport technology.
The use of low-emission and energy saving transport will not only help improve roadside air quality, but also reduce carbon emissions and promote a low-carbon economy, he said.
China to subsidize public transport operators (February 9, 2010)
China's central budget will provide public transportation operators with subsidies to offset the impact of a hike in oil prices, the Beijing Times reported Tuesday, citing sources with the Ministry of Transport.
The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance have issued measures that if the price of gasoline rises to over 4,400 yuan ($644.49) per ton or diesel oil price climbs above 3,870 yuan per ton, the central government will launch the subsidy system. If oil prices fall behind these levels, the subsidy system will be stopped.
Tackling climate change 'urgent,' Hu says (February 24, 2010)
China's highest leadership yesterday began considering proposals from the country's senior researchers in an attempt to help achieve the country's ambitious goal of cutting carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.
The move is a sign that China will roll out more economic and industrial policies to tackle climate change this year when drawing up the development roadmap for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).
The political bureau of the CPC Central Committee has raised climate change as their study topic for the second time during the past two years. The leadership usually holds study meetings every one or two months.
'No intention' of capping emissions (February 25, 2010)
China has no intention of capping its greenhouse gas emissions even as authorities are committed to realizing the nation's target to reduce carbon intensity through new policies and measures, the country's top climate change negotiators said yesterday.
The negotiators also warned that rich and developing countries have little hope of overcoming key disagreements over how to fight global warming.
China "could not and should not" set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current phase, said Su Wei, the chief negotiator of China for climate change talks in Copenhagen, at a meeting in Beijing on China's climate change policies in the post-Copenhagen era.
China, India favor climate deal, says UN (February 27, 2010)
NUSA DUA, Indonesia: India and China have demonstrated commitment to a climate accord struck in Copenhagen last year and their refusal so far to "associate" with it should not be overblown, the UN's climate chief said on Friday.
The Copenhagen Accord reached last year was not legally binding, but over 100 countries have already said they are willing to "associate" with it, which means their names are listed at the top of the document.
China and India are yet to say if they will associate or not, but the head of the UN Climate Secretariat, Yvo de Boer, said he was unworried by that.
Pollution 'likely to peak at earlier stage of growth' (February 10, 2010)
The country might see its pollution levels peak at an earlier stage of economic growth than expected, a senior environmental official said on Tuesday.
"China has taken a different growth path from developed countries so it is very likely that our pollution peak will come earlier," Zhang Lijun, vice-environmental minister, told a news conference in Beijing during a release of the first national pollution census.
The peak could occur when the country's per capita income reaches $3,000, Zhang said.
China's per capita gross national income hit $2,770 in 2008, a report from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
National survey takes the lid off China pollution (February 9, 2010)
China has discharged 49.15 million tons of industrial solid waste and 39,400 tons of industrial hazardous waste throughout the year of 2007, according to information released in the first national survey, the China Economic Net reported.
Zhang Lijun, deputy chief of Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, revealed the latest findings of a two-year national survey on the country's pollution at a press conference in Beijing Tuesday.
During the year of 2007, in the nation's wastewater, there were 30.29 million tons of chemical oxygen demand (COD), an indicator of organic and nutrient matters in wastewater, 1.73 million tons of ammoniacal nitrogen as well as 900 tons of heavy metal pollutants.