China

Tue, 2011-04-05 04:45TJ Scolnick
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There Goes The Neighbourhood: China Rushes To Develop Shale Gas At Home And Abroad

To satisfy its thirst for energy, China is very quickly becoming a big player in the shale gas industry. Unfortunately, whether at home or abroad, there also seems to be little concern from Chinese leadership for the destructive environmental impact of drilling for heavily polluting shale gas – which is often drilled for using the controversial hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) method.

Domestically: Investing in shale gas in China
China’s National Energy Administration is quickly working to draft a plan to develop the country’s shale gas reserves, which are estimated at more than 10 times its conventional gas reserves.

Early in 2010, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) set a target for the country to identify 50-80 shale gas areas and 20-30 exploration and development blocks by 2020. Moreover, the MLR’s Strategic Research Centre for Oil and Gas wants to produce 8-12% of China’s gas from shale wells by 2020.

State-controlled PetroChina (a.k.a. China National Petroleum Corporation) announced its intention to produce 500 million cubic meters of shale gas by 2015 and Sinopec Corporation also wants to exploit some 2.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas and coalbed methane in that time. Already, Royal Dutch Shell is drilling 17 gas wells, for both tight gas and shale gas, and plans to spend $1 billion a year over the next five years on shale gas in China.

Wed, 2009-12-23 16:14Emily Murgatroyd
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Did China Kill Copenhagen?

The Guardian published an interesting and depressing article yesterday on China’s behind-the-scenes involvement in killing Copenhagen.

A fascinating peek into the closed door meeting between Barack Obama and around 50 other international representatives during their last ditch effort to cobble together an internationally binding treaty. You might want to add some extra spike to your eggnog when you’ve finished reading.

Mon, 2009-04-13 21:45Richard Littlemore
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Top environmental groups denounce BC's New Democratic Party

On the eve of an election campaign in British Columbia, three of Canada’s leading enviromental organizations held a press conference on Tuesday condemning a New Democratic Party promise to let B.C. polluters off the hook, despite the damage that might do to the environment or the economy.

The David Suzuki Foundation, the Pembina Institute and Forest Ethics jointly stated that “thousands of jobs in the green economy will be lost, and the province will lose its position as an environmental leader if the (first North American carbon) tax is dropped.”

“The NDP has chosen what they think will be a publicly acceptable but climate-irresponsible approach. And that is, they want to step backward the pricing of carbon and backwards on the policies that are in place in the hopes that that may get them elected,” Merran Smith, a climate director with ForestEthics, said Monday.

The carbon tax, passed by the reigning Liberal government last spring and implemented (awkwardly) just as oil prices peaked last July, has been hailed in environmental and economics circles as the fairest, most comprehensive and most transparent tax on fossil fuel pollution. The NDP alternative, on the other hand, was roundly criticized, most recently by the renowned BC economist, Dr. Marc Jaccard, who estimated that the NDP’s own plan for climate change could cost the province as many as 60,000 jobs by 2020.

Mon, 2009-04-13 13:05Jeanne Roberts
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Congress and Renewables, Going Whichever Way the Wind Blows

A recent Forbes’ article on Vestas Wind’s CEO, Ditlev Engel, and his determination to make wind energy succeed in America, brings to mind the real problem behind renewable energy in the U.S; Congress tends to swing whichever way the wind blows (pun intended).

Vestas came to the U.S. in the wake of the OPEC oil crisis/embargo in 1973. Then, when oil prices dropped in the 1980s, Vestas – like many other renewable energy startups – went bust because the government let renewable energy tax incentives lapse for lack of interest. This effectively dried up venture capital.

Tue, 2008-12-16 10:07Kevin Grandia
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Chinese build electric car while US automakers beg for money

Chinese auto-manufacturer BYD (Build Your Own Dreams), which is partially owned by billionare finance guru Warren Buffet, has unveiled its new plug-in hybrid today.

BDY’s F3DM model can travel up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) on a single battery charge and it contains a back-up independent gas-powered motor. The big kicker is that its retail price is $22,000 US, making it a lot cheaper than General Motor’s plug-in Chevy Volt which will not be on the market for another couple of years and will cost around $40,000 US - and that’s with government subsidies.

No wonder General Motors and the other US automakers are begging for a bailout, their competitors are kicking their butts.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress has an in-depth look at the BYD pug-in: World’s first mass-market plug-in hybrid is from … China, for $22,000?

Thu, 2008-06-26 09:14Todd Carmichael
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New on the Endangered Species List: Perennial Arctic Ice

The North Pole could be free of sea ice for the first time in recorded history this summer, according to National Geographic News.

And that would have the effect of speeding global warming, as highly reflective ice gives way to heat absorbing water in the high Arctic.

As NatGeo reports, scientists were shocked last year when the high Arctic lost 65 per cent of its ice cover in one year, an unprecedented loss over a time scale they previously thought was impossible. And, perversely, that generates more of the Deniers' favorite commodity: doubt.

We can all now doubt that things were as bad as we might have feared. As it turns out: they're worse.
Mon, 2008-06-23 14:38Emily Murgatroyd
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Wind Power Outpaces Nuclear, China Outpaces Itself

A new report issued by the Worldwatch Institute finds that new wind power installations outpaced new nuclear power plant construction by 10-to-1. Globally, the wind industry added 20,000 MW of new capacity last year, while the nuclear industry added less than 2,000 MW.

A big surprise for the author of the report was the massive upswing in wind installations in China:

“The biggest surprise is China, which was barely in the wind business three years ago but which in 2007 trailed only the United States and Spain in wind installations and was fifth in total installed capacity. An estimated 3,449 mega­watts of wind turbines were added in 2007, bringing China's provisional total to 6,050 megawatts and already exceeding the govern­ment's target for 2010.”
Tue, 2008-06-17 12:12Bill Miller
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Solutions: New trading funds highlight expanding role of wind in global warming struggle

Two new Exchange Traded Funds, filed within days of each other with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will focus on companies that provide products and services to the wind-energy industry, such as turbine makers and utilities with wind farms.

Wind energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions and cuts natural gas and water use. Of particular interest to investors, wind power is unaffected by price swings in natural gas, coal and uranium — all of which soared this year.

The new filings reflect the deepening role of wind in the battle against climate change.

Thu, 2008-05-29 13:35Bill Miller
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Book cites population growth as key driver of global warming

After virtually abandoning the issue for three decades, the environmental movement got a bold reality check this week from a new book highlighting relentless human population growth as a driving force behind global warming.

This wouldn’t have raised eyebrows in the 1970s, when the modern environmental movement had its genesis and Paul Erlich’s “The Population Bomb” was on just about everybody’s bookshelf.

Since then, however, overpopulation has dropped from the vocabulary of most environmentalists despite a near doubling of the world’s numbers to an estimated 6.8 billion people today.


Thu, 2008-05-08 15:17Jim Hoggan
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Biofuel and Blather: Apologists Try to Pin Ill-advised Farm Subsidy on Al Gore

Corporate apologists, politicians (and their media stooges) are twisting the language and misrepresenting the truth in an effort to deflect responsibility for a global food crisis that is being exacerbated by biofuel farm subsidies.

The issue dusted up last week when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Marian Fischer Boel blamed the global food shortage on people in India and China who are shifting their diet toward meat and away from vegetables.

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