China is expecting to spend more than US$450 billion on environmental protection during the 12th Five Year Plan, China Daily quoted vice-minster Wu Xiaoqing as saying. China’s environmental-protection market will become the world's biggest between 2011 and 2015, with annual growth of 15% to 20%, Wu said.
Shanghai recorded its worst pollution readings for the past five years in November, China Daily also reported. The city saw its air pollution index pass 100 – above which air quality counts as “polluted” – on eight days during the month and skyrocket to 370 on November 13, the highest level for a decade.
China’s chief envoy to next week’s climate-change negotiations in Cancún urged participants to agree on financing and technology-transfer arrangements, People’s Daily said. Speaking ahead of the summit’s opening on Monday, Xie Zhenhua said consensus on these issues would help developing nations cut their emissions.
The World Bank gave China measured praise on green-energy development in a report issued ahead of the 12th Five Year Plan, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country is making progress towards its target to get 15% of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2020 but needs to improve hydropower generation and tackle wind-sector inefficiencies, the body said.
Chinese solar companies will account for nearly 72% of new photovoltaic manufacturing capacity this year, according to a study covered by Reuters. Technology research firm iSuppli said that, of the 10 firms to add most new capacity in 2010, seven were Chinese.
China ordered the restoration of power supply to residences after some local governments shut generating plants and limited electricity use in a bid to meet the country’s 2010 energy-saving goal, Bloomberg reported. The news came as official information stated China would achieve this year’s target of a 20% reduction in energy intensity and 10% cut in major pollutant emission on 2005 levels.
Strong winds in Inner Mongolia hampered efforts to reach 1,000 herdsmen stranded north-east of Hohhot following a major snowstorm, Xinhua reported. The snows, which are thought to have killed around 700 head of livestock, came 40 days earlier than usual and were the heaviest for 30 years.
An investigation was launched into the causes of a coal-mine flood in Sichuan that trapped 29 workers underground before a day-long rescue pulled them to safety, Xinhua said. Two officials were suspended and 56 local coal mines closed down pending inspections.
EU chiefs are seeking a strategy to reduce reliance on China for rare earth metals in a bid to break the country’s dominance of the market and reduce concerns over Chinese export controls, The New York Times reported. A paper to be presented to member states calls for investment in African infrastructure to diversify sources of the minerals.
Prepared in cooperation with PACE
Fear of the distant horrors of climate change isn't enough to drive anything more than just political talk and hand-wringing