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China to spend $372 billion on cutting energy use, pollution
Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, Reuters
China will plough $372 billion into energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal, the country's cabinet said Tuesday.
A report from China's State Council, or cabinet, said the investments will take China almost halfway to meeting its target to cut the energy intensity 16 percent below 2010 levels by 2015.
The government has earmarked $155 billion of the money for projects that shrink energy use, and while the plan did not detail which types of projects or sectors would benefit from the funds, a big share of the cash is expected to go to industry.
(22 August 2012)
China's mega coal power bases exacerbate water crisis – in pictures
A new Greenpeace report warns China's plan to rapidly expand large coal mines and power plants in its arid northern and western provinces threatens to drain precious water supply and could trigger a severe water crisis. The photographer Lu Guang has documented the water-intensive coal extraction, forcing deterioration of arid grassland and forcing herders to seek alternative livelihoods
(21 August 2012)
Thousands being moved from China's Three Gorges - again
Sui-Lee Wee, Reuters
China relocated 1.3 million people during the 17 years it took to complete the Three Gorges dam. Even after finishing the $59 billion project last month, the threat of landslides along the dam's banks will force tens of thousands to move again.
It's a reminder of the social and environmental challenges that have dogged the world's largest hydroelectric project. While there has been little protest among residents who will be relocated a second time, the environmental fallout over other big investments in China has become a hot-button issue ahead of a leadership transition this year.
In some cases, protests have forced the scrapping of multi-billion dollar projects. The most recent was on July 28, when Chinese officials cancelled an industrial waste pipeline after anti-pollution demonstrators occupied a government office in the eastern city of Qidong, destroying computers and overturning cars.
"If the government says you have to move, you move," said Shuai Linxiang, a 57-year-old woman among 20,000 people to be relocated from Huangtupo, where they were resettled in 1998. "We can't oppose them."..
(22 August 2012)
China and its controversial carbon appetite [Book review]
Pilita Clark, Financial Times
This guide to Beijing’s ecological aims casts doubt on the idea that the middle class can drive green action
China’s Environmental Challenges , by Judith Shapiro
...Judith Shapiro, a US academic who was one of the first Americans to live in China after relations with the US were normalised in 1979, explains many of the reasons why in this concise and illuminating book...
(19 August 2012)