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"This is interesting as many Cities want to attack this problem "

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  • Eric Britton
    Subject: Time to count the spoons. Dear friends, I would like to add another line or two to Sudhir s good comment on this topic. It would be entirely
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8 4:54 AM

      Subject: Time to count the spoons.


      Dear friends,


      I would like to add another line or two to Sudhir's good comment on this topic.


      It would be entirely irrational for us as agents of sustainable development and social justice to confuse statements of good intentions with actual high commitment and concrete actions to realize them as stated and on time.  One of the glories of the entrepreneurial economic system, AKA capitalism, is that it provides a strict system of punishment and rewards that corresponds well with human behavior.  Adam Smith made this excellent point a couple hundred years ago, and it is no less true today.


      But when we come to matters which are so abstruse and future-loaded as sustainable development considerations, we are seeing in case after case, in city after city, in country after country worldwide that while the stated intentions are often high and noble, but the actual realizations rarely correspond.  This is the real world status of sustainable development in 2010, and unfortunately can be expected to continue along these lines at least in the next few years until we have made a major cultural breakthrough.  (Which at the end of the day is in fact our job.)


      I make this point because it would be a terrible thing if we were to accept at face value these statements of high intention.  We do not have to show our skepticism from the rooftops, but we have to have an adequately mature understanding of what is going on here.  As the writer and philosopher Jonathan Swift told us so well: "when a man proclaims his honor loudly at the table, it is time to count the spoons".


      How we change this behavior is something that nobody has really figured out yet.  But the first step in this process is to understand what is really going on and not confuse it with the admirable public statements of high intentions.


      Eric Britton



      From: Sudhir [mailto:sudhir@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, 06 April, 2010 05:42
      To: Clean Air Initiative -- Asia
      Subject: Re: [cai-asia] CAI-Asia China Project E-Newsletter Issue No.8, 2010


      Dear Mike,


      This is interesting as many Cities want to attack this problem but getting hold of the data is difficult. 


      Take a case of Ho Chi Minh - more than 40% of buses are Euro-I  and they are interestingly planning similar tactic - 




      Last year many such issues cropped up in Kolkata last year where they put a restriction on age ( 15 years).. and many buses and vehicles never got scrapped....


      Alternately, Metro Manila is banking on reducing the "oversupply" of buses in some corridor while delaying the implementation of tighter standards considering various regulatory issues



      Many such adhoc actions may not succeed until you offer carrots with sticks...





      Sudhir Gota
      Transport Specialist
      CAI-Asia Center




      On 1 April 2010 11:54, Mike Kilburn <mkilburn@...> wrote:

      Dear CAI listers

      Please note that the retirement of pre-Euro and Euro I buses in Hong Kong is not a new initiative of the Environmental Protection Department. Rather it is part of a long-standing policy of the Transport Department to keep bus fares low at the expense of public health.

      The Transport Department has a policy of retiring all buses on the 18th anniversary of their first registration.  In fact Transport Department keeps buses on the road between 3 and 6 years after they are fully depreciated (depreciation periods are set at between 12 and 18 years) in order to keep fares down.

      More details can be found in the Civic Exchange Report: Paying for a Cleaner Bus Fleet: How Government can break the log jam

      Pilot Green Transport Fund – Hong Kong
      On a more positive note, the HK Government has announced a HK$300million Pilot Green Transport Fund fund to encourage public transport operators to accelerate the introduction of cleaner vehicles. The following is extracted from the 2010 Budget speech delivered the Financial Secretary John Tsang on 26th February 2010:

      Pilot Green Transport Fund

       91.      To encourage the transport sector to test out green and low-carbon transport technology, I propose to set up a $300 million Pilot Green Transport Fund for application by the industry, initially by the public transport operators.  I hope that this Fund will encourage the industry to introduce more innovative green technologies, such as the use of buses, public light buses, taxis, and ferries that employ green technologies, and help nurture the budding of green technology in Hong Kong.
       92.      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.  I hope that the transport industry will actively try out innovative green technologies, contributing to better air quality and the health of people living in Hong Kong.”

      The source can be found here.

      Kind regards,

      Mike Kilburn
      Environmental Programme Manager
      Civic Exchange


      Air Quality, Energy, Transport, and Climate Change in China
      CAI-Asia China Project E-Newsletter
      Issue No.8, 2010
      (Compiled by Shan HUANG)

      Severe sandstorm blasts Beijing (March 23, 2010)

      A severe sandstorm that plagued northwestern China in the past few weeks arrived in Beijing Friday night, packing strong winds and tonnes of sand.

      Beijingers woke up to see clouds of yellow dust in the air Saturday morning. The loose soil and dust that had traveled hundreds of miles blanketed Beijing's streets, covering parked vehicles and making its way into apartment buildings.

      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/20/content_9617579.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/20/content_9617579.htm>


      Snow, sandstorm wreak havoc in Xinjiang (March 21, 2010)

      Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China's far west suffered the dual attack of snow and sandstorm, which caused chaos on the road and in the air, local authorities said Saturday.

      While the regional capital Urumqi and the northern prefectures of Ili, Altay and Tacheng suffered snow or sleet, a severe sandstorm hit at least four prefectures in southern Xinjiang, the regional weather bureau said in a press release.

      English link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/20/c_13218709.htm <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/20/c_13218709.htm>


      Waste incineration firm reports on pollution levels (March 18, 2010)

      The amount of pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, emitted from one of Beijing's two waste incineration plants is being released to the public in real time.

      A large screen was this week established outside the 800 million yuan ($117 million) Gao'antun incineration plant in east Beijing's Chaoyang district to display the amount of toxins in the air. Dioxin, the major pollutant released from burning plastic and other garbage, was absent from the index.

      The testing is carried out by the Environmental Engineering Group, which owns the plant and runs all waste treatment plants in Beijing. Emissions were this week all shown to be within safe limits.

      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-03/18/content_9606435.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-03/18/content_9606435.htm>


      Beijing's air quality fails to meet standard due to holiday fireworks (March 1, 2010)

      Five days in February failed to meet a required air quality standard of national grade II in Beijing due to holiday fireworks and the weather, an official with Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said Monday.

      Beijing uses a five-grade classification for air quality, with Grade I being the best and Grade V the worst. Days with Grade I and II air quality are regarded as blue sky days.

      A total of 23 days in February met the required air quality standard, 5.5 days more than the average of the last ten years, but one day fewer than that of last year, according to the environmental protection bureau.

      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497578.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497578.htm>


      Shanghai fires up anti-smoking law (March 1, 2010)

      The city's first law to ban smoking in public places takes effect today with offenders facing fines from 50 yuan (US$7.32) to 200 yuan.

      The ban applies to 12 types of public areas, including schools, hospitals, supermarkets and elevators.

      The law also requires karaoke bars, dance balls and restaurants to set up designated smoking and non-smoking areas.

      However, the law's critics say the penalties are no more than empty talk, as the feasibility of law enforcement has been questioned not only by the public but even by supervision officials themselves.

      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497081.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497081.htm>



      More efforts needed to reach energy saving goal (March 8, 2010)
      China needs to strive harder to reach its goal of energy conservation set by the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), said Li Pumin, spokesman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
      According to the plan, China will cut its per unit GDP energy consumption by 20 percent (compared with the 2005 level) at the end of 2010.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/business/2010-03/08/content_19552262.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/business/2010-03/08/content_19552262.htm>
      Henan's coal city chooses new low-carbon path (March 19, 2010)
      A "coal city" in Henan province that has enough coal reserves for another 100 years of mining is moving toward a low-carbon economy, said the top official in Pingdingshan city.
      Zhao Qinglin, Party chief of Pingdingshan, said the city is introducing clean technologies and low-emission industries aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 45 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2020, he said.
      "A low-carbon economy, which essentially pursues sustainable development, offers a new path for resource-dependent cities that are seeking economic transformation," he said.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/19/content_19639450.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/19/content_19639450.htm>  
      Solar power producers waiting for subsidy sunshine (March 18, 2010)
      Solar cell manufacturer China Sunergy announced Monday that it would acquire solar module manufacturers CEEG Solar Science & Technology and CEEG New Energy for about $47 million, bringing polycrystalline module manufacturing in-house.
      China Sunergy, based in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, said the move will help it develop into a comprehensive solar solutions provider.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/18/content_19631948.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/18/content_19631948.htm>  
      Lawmaker promotes production of ethanol from straws (March 13, 2010)
      A Chinese lawmaker said on Saturday more efforts should be made to promote the production of straw-turned ethanol amid the nation's drive to develop a low-carbon economy.
      Li Rongjie, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, said the country could potentially produce 1.2 billion tons of dry cellulosic biomass per year, which has the energy content of 400 million tons of crude oil.
      English link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/13/c_13209420.htm <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/13/c_13209420.htm>   
      Wind power factories called 'image projects' (March 11, 2010)
      China's wind power factories are mostly "image projects" built largely for displaying local governments' achievements rather than for use by ordinary people, the Beijing Times reported Wednesday, citing a top government official.
      Miao Wei, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, made the remarks on Sunday at a discussion with the Hubei delegation at the ongoing annual sessions. It is not suitable for China to build too many wind power factories because wind is always accompanied by sand in China and the equipment will erode quickly.
      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/10/content_9567436.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/10/content_9567436.htm>  
      Shanghai maps out cuts in energy consumption (March 9, 2010)
      Shanghai aims to cut energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (US$1,464) of gross domestic product by at least 3.6 percent this year in response to the central government's call to reduce emissions and save energy.
      Government officials said that although it is not a high target, the city is faced with high energy demands this year from the 2010 World Expo.
      Steel mills and petrochemical plants, back in production on the economic recovery, will also require more energy.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/09/content_19564039.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/09/content_19564039.htm>  
      Green energy program drafted (March 2, 2010)
      The government has formulated a 10-year program under which clean energy will account for 15 percent of the total consumption mix by 2020, a top official has revealed.
      To realize the goal, the government will invest billions in the construction of nuclear power stations, wind farms, solar power plants and research of renewable energy technologies, said Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration.
      Zhang told China Daily that the program will soon be made public but did not specify a date.
      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-03/02/content_9523550.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-03/02/content_9523550.htm>  

      HK to retire over 40% old buses by 2015 for environment (March 18, 2010)

      It is expected that more than 40 percent of the existing franchised buses will be retired by 2015, as an effort to promote wider use of environment-friendly buses, the local authority said Wednesday.

      All pre-Euro and Euro I buses will be retired no later than 2012 and 2015 respectively, and Euro II buses by 2019, said Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/18/content_19630917.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/18/content_19630917.htm>  


      State energy giants to build electric charging infrastructure (March 1, 2010)

      China is pushing forward the development of new energy vehicles, in particular electric vehicles, consistent with its status as the world's largest car market and auto-producing country, as well as the world's largest exporter of new energy vehicles.

      With the US auto industry having been hit hard and Toyota in recent troubles, the Chinese automotive industry is eager to move ahead. The State Council has again expressed clear support for demonstration and popularization of new energy vehicles, and the Chinese state-owned energy giants have begun preparations to build an electric charging network.

      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19495565.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19495565.htm>




      China urges more efforts from US to tackle climate change ( March 10, 2010)
      The United States, as the world's largest developed nation, should exert more efforts to tackle climate change, Xie Zhenhua, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in Beijing Wednesday.
      Xie, one of China's leading negotiators for climate change talks, made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/10/content_19576966.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/10/content_19576966.htm>  

      China to continue its efforts to tackle climate change (March 14, 2010)
      China will continue to work with other countries to advance the international efforts in tackling climate change, Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday after the close of the annual parliament session.
      Wen said he wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, respectively, at the end of January after the Copenhagen conference, expressing in clear-cut terms that China highly commends and supports the Copenhagen Accord.
      Not long ago, China once again wrote to the United Nations, expressing that China fully supports the Copenhagen Accord, he said.
      English link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/14/c_13210106.htm <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/14/c_13210106.htm>
      Shanghai Expo will be low-carbon, high-tech event (March 8, 2010)
      China's Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said here on Monday a lot of new and high technologies will be applied to the Shanghai World Expo, which is designed to highlight the theme of "Better City, Better Life" with the latest technologies.
      Clean energy will be used to supply electricity for the six-month exposition beginning May 1, said the minister at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the country's top advisory body, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/08/content_19561503.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/08/content_19561503.htm>
      Qingdao makes plans for low carbon future (March 9, 2010)
      The seaboard city of Qingdao in east China's Shandong province has a new low-carbon formula for the development of its economy.
      "Development of a low-carbon economy is a strategic option for Qingdao's sound and sustainable development," said Xia Geng, the city's mayor.
      "The following years will see Qingdao put great efforts into developing new sources of energy while reducing emissions," Xia said.
      The city government aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1.32 tons per 10,000 yuan of gross domestic product by 2020, a decrease of 45 percent compared with 2005, according to Qingdao Development and Reform Commission.
      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/shandong/e/2010-03/09/content_9567690.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/shandong/e/2010-03/09/content_9567690.htm>
      Low-carbon revolution is on the way (March 5, 2010)
      The concept of a low-carbon economy is becoming increasingly popular and China should face the challenge of dealing with the upcoming revolution, according to experts at the 8th Transnational Corporations China Forum 2010.
      The 8th Transnational Corporations China Forum 2010 was organized by Chinese Academy of International Trade & Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, and aimed to discuss the strategic opportunities and compliance management of transnational corporations in the post-financial crisis era.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/05/content_19529676.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/05/content_19529676.htm>
      China to build industrial system of low-carbon emissions (March 5, 2010)
      China will build an industrial system and consumption pattern with low carbon emissions, Premier Wen Jiabao said in the government work report delivered at the parliament's annual session Friday.
      The country will work hard to develop low-carbon technologies as well as new and renewable energy resources to actively respond to climate change, Wen told deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC), adding that the development of smart power grids should be intensified.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/05/content_19527060.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/05/content_19527060.htm>
      China may allocate 800 bln yuan for solid waste disposal (March 19, 2010)
      China will invest an estimated RMB 800 billion in the industry of solid waste disposal under the 12th five-year plan, which will last from 2011 to 2015, doubling its goal for the current five-year plan, according to the country's Ministry of Environmental Protection.
      The ministry predicted that China's total investment in environmental protection will hit RMB 3.1 trillion under the 12th five-year plan.
      In recent years, the country's annual garbage output grew 8% to 10%.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/19/content_19642966.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/19/content_19642966.htm>  
      China, Norway cooperate on environmental protection (March 17, 2010)
      China and Norway linked up for a seminar on environmental protection on March 8, which is the kick-off of the Sino-Norwegian Project on Competence Building on Environmental Management.
      The seminar was the result of an agreement signed on April 30 last year, which outlined the Competence Building Project (CBP). This project will be implemented by the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) under the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment.
      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-03/17/content_9600313.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-03/17/content_9600313.htm>  
      Government to continue subsidies for environmentally friendly practices (March 11, 2010)
      The government will continue offering subsidies to individuals and businesses to encourage more environmentally friendly practices, said Xie Zhenhua, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference on March 10 on the sidelines of the annual parliament session.
      Individuals will keep receiving subsidies for buying energy saving products, such as cars, lights, air conditioners, while businesses can still receive subsidies for energy-saving production.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/11/content_19585443.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2010/2010-03/11/content_19585443.htm>  
      No timetable for green taxation: official (March 4, 2010)
      The government still has no timetable to levy the environmental tax so far, Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection Pan Yue said at the annul session of the CPPCC Wednesday.
      "The ministries of finance, taxation and environmental protection have worked closely to speed up the progress, but the new tax is not likely be imposed very soon and will not aggravate enterprises' burden," said Pan, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
      English link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/03/content_9532350.htm <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/03/content_9532350.htm>
      China to invest US$1.5 bln in Tibet environment (March 3, 2010)
      The Chinese central government will allocate a further investment of 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) by the end of 2015 to help protect and preserve the ecological environments in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Xinhua reported Tuesday.
      The southwest plateau inland, with its nature reserve sprawling over 413,700 square kilometers, is a haven for at least 125 wild animal species and 39 wild plant species that are on the national protection list.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/03/content_19509466.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/03/content_19509466.htm>
      Guiyang reports improved environment (March 1, 2010)
      A southwest China city that used to be plagued by acid rain is gradually shaking off pollution, thanks to a sustained environment campaign that has begun to pay off.
      Guiyang, capital of the southwestern Guizhou Province, reported only 19 "slightly polluted" days last year, sharply down from 30 days in 2005, the city government said in a press release Monday.
      It said the city's total emissions of acid rain-causing sulphur dioxide were down from 314,100 tonnes in 2005 to 179,500 tonnes last year.
      English link: http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497816.htm <http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2010-03/01/content_19497816.htm>




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