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'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr.

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?

Doug Parr /

20th November 2014

EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever. more...
'Don't shoot me - I'm only the Senate Leader!' US Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

China leads the world in green energy - despite US Senate Leader 'do nothing' claims

John Mathews and Hao Tan

18th November 2014

The Leader of the US Senate says that under the China-US climate deal, China can 'do nothing at all for 16 years'. John Mathews and Hao Tan examine the claim - and find it's the very reverse of the truth. China is leading the world in greening its energy supply, and has committed to add a massive 1.3GW of renewable power capacity every week for 15 years. Now Mitch - beat that! more...
Stop this and we might just save the world. Photo: EPA, CC BY.

US-China climate deal: at last the big players are talking the right language

Mike Berners-Lee

14th November 2014

Efforts to tackle climate change have failed to make the slightest difference to the exponential increase in CO2 emissions, writes Mike Berners-Lee. The US-China deal at last offers hope that things could change - but to make it work other countries must come on board, and promises must transform into binding commitments. more...
Plenty more of these on the way: Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com.

US-China climate deal raises hopes of agreement in 2015

Oliver Tickell

12th November 2014

China and the US have jointly pledged to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, as the Presidents of the two countries met for talks today in Beijing. The move is boosting hopes for the UN climate summit in Paris in 2015 - but is it really enough to restrain temperature rises? more...
781 tusks from Tanzania seized in Malawi in transit to China, May 2013. Photo: EIA.

Chinese Presidency implicated in Tanzania's elephant massacre

The Ecologist

6th November 2014

A new report reveals that Chinese-led criminal gangs are conspiring with corrupt Tanzanian officials and senior politicians to traffic huge amounts of ivory. The corruption even extends into the Chinese navy, diplomatic missions and Presidential entourage - all involved in the lucrative but illegal trade. more...
Carry on smoking ... game theory suggests that no climate agreement that's politically acceptable will be effective. Photo: Curt Carnemark / World Bank via Flickr.

Effective climate agreement will remain elusive

Alex Kirby

2nd November 2014

Today's IPCC report provides all the reasons we need for serious climate action, writes Alex Kirby. But unless key polluting countries commit to deep cuts in emissions, and accept sanctions for non-compliance, there's little chance of any climate change agreement actually working. more...
About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose / DeSmogBlog

2nd October 2014

King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel. more...
Much of Australia's coal is too high in ash, sulphur, or both, to meet China's new environmental standards. Will it be able to find the new customers it needs? Photo: Stephen Codrington / Wikimedia Commons.

China's war on pollution could leave Australia's dirty coal out in the cold

Shabbir Ahmad

25th September 2014

To tackle its serious air pollution, China is imposing stringent restrictions on dirty coal high in ash or sulphur, writes Shabbir Ahmad. One result: half of Australia's coal exports to China face exclusion, or extra 'washing' costs. But Australia's response is not to raise environmental quality. Instead, it's increasing production. more...
Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com.

China's top leaders skip the Climate Summit - but actions speak louder than words

Alex Loy

24th September 2014

The world's biggest CO2 emitter, China, had a low key presence at the UN Climate Summit yesterday, writes Alex Loy, giving a strong hint that its leaders have lost faith in the ailing UN climate process. But the country is pushing hard on climate solutions at home, including a national emissions cap and effective carbon pricing. more...
A deformed pig suffering, Ib Borup Pedersen believes, from the ill effects of glyphosate. Photo: Ib Borup Pedersen.

Changing to non-GMO soy transformed the health of my pigs

Ib Borup Pederson

18th September 2014

From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed. more...
A coal-fired power station at Yangzhou in China’s central Jiangsu province. Photo: Vmenkov via Wikimedia Commons.

China - is it kicking its coal habit?

Kieran Cooke

12th September 2014

There are hopeful signs that China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is becoming less reliant on the polluting coal that powered its rapid economic rise, writes Kieran Cooke. Great news for China, and the planet - but worrying for coal exporters! more...
Camels in the Gurvan Saikhan national park, Gobi desert, Mongolia. Photo: Stephane L via Flickr.

China and Mongolia clash over how to exploit the Gobi desert

Troy Sternberg

9th September 2014

Mongolia and China are separated by world views as well as by a border across the Gobi desert, writes Troy Sternberg. In Mongolia the idea that nature has intrinsic value is readily accepted, while China is more interested in resources for trade, industry and profit. Can a clash of interests be avoided? more...

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Lake Nicaragua, ecological jewel of Central America, will never be the same if the canal project goes ahead. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr.

The Nicaragua Canal - a disaster in waiting?

Nathan Wood

15th August 2014

A second canal joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is planned for Nicaragua, writes Nathan Wood. But the gigantic project is raising growing fears due to a grossly unfair contract, glaring failures of process, close links to the Chinese government, and its enormous - but uncosted - ecological impacts. more...
The recent protest of Mongolian herders in China's Bayangol province, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, before it was broken up by police. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Mongolian herders protest - 'protect our grazing land!'

The Ecologist

8th August 2014

In China's remote Mongolian region, indigenous herders are being forced from their traditional pastures to make way for roads and vast mining projects. Last week they held a public demonstration - but it was immediately dispersed with ten arrests. more...
An Irawaddy dolphin slips beneath the surface of the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr

Why freshwater dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals

Rachel Nuwer

30th July 2014

Humans are to blame for the drastic declines in river dolphin populations around the world, writes Rachel Nuwer. But what exactly are we doing wrong? Mainly, scientists have found, it's building dams - and so destroying and fragmenting their habitat. more...
Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova

23rd July 2014

Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover. more...
Among potential 'stranded assets', this open pit coal mine in Indonesia Borneo. Photo: Parolan Harahap via Flickr.

China's coal burn 'down 40% by 2020'

Alex Kirby

6th June 2014

Coal consumption in China is likely to dwindle rapidly, writes Alex Kirby, leaving its own mining sector and foreign coal exporters in serious trouble. Australia and Indonesia are at greatest risk as China may soon stop importing any coal at all. more...
Tiger skin being processed at Xia Feng. Photo: © EIA.

China's lethal wildlife trade loophole

Vicky Lee

21st May 2014

A little-known licensing scheme allows over 100 Chinese companies to trade in wildlife products like tiger skins, ivory, bear bile and musk deer glands. Vicky Lee shows how the system provides cover for the lucrative illegal wildlife trade to reach wealthy buyers. more...
Prey Long Network discover a cache of illegally cut resin trees in Prey Long forest. Photo: Vanessa de Smet 2012

Forest communities fight Cambodia's rosewood bandits

Fran Lambrick

15th May 2014

Cambodia's rainforests are facing destruction from clearance for plantations, and an illegal trade in precious timber, reports Fran Lambrick. Local people who depend on the forest have proved to be its most effective guardians - but they need external support. more...
A potential customers at a show of 'hongmu' luxury items made from Siamese rosewood. Photo: EIA.

Steeped in blood - China's trade in Siamese rosewood

The Ecologist

12th May 2014

Precious Siamese rosewood has been illegally logged to the brink of extinction in the Mekong region to feed a voracious demand for luxury furniture in China which leaves a bloody trail of death, violence and corruption in its wake. more...
Tree losing its leaves in the Beijing smog. Photo:  Philip McMaster via Flickr.com.

Beijing's $5bn tree project - will it cut pollution?

Jun Yang

16th March 2014

Beijing is to plant trees over an area 200 times the size of Central Park in the city's latest effort to neutralise its choking pollution. But Jun Yang asks - how much will the trees really help, unless accompanied by drastic reductions in emissions? more...
The Solúcar PS10 20MW solar tower near Seville, Spain. Saudi Arabia is now planning to build much bigger versions of the technology. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr.com.

Solar is going great - but could be greater!

Jonathon Porritt

1st March 2014

The solar industry is going great, with tens of gigawatts of new capacity planned for 2014 alone. But as Jonathon Porritt writes, the solar revolution could be going even faster - with smart, consistent policies for solar power in Europe and Japan. more...
This scene from Dujiangyan illustrates traditional harmony of water in the Chinese landscape. Photo: Joshua Bateman.

China's looming water crisis

Joshua Bateman

25th February 2014

One unintended consequence of China's spectacular economic growth is a growing water shortage, reports Joshua Bateman. As rivers run dry, aquifers sink, climate harshens and pollution spreads, he asks: can China solve its water crisis? more...
Whale shark butcher at work. Photo: Wildlife Risk.

World's largest whale shark slaughterhouse uncovered in China

Sophie Morlin-Yron

3rd February 2014

The world's biggest slaughterhouse for endangered whale sharks has been uncovered in southeast China, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron. It's products are being traded across the world in health and cosmetic products. more...

Hong Kong to destroy 28 tonnes of ivory

The Ecologist

23rd January 2014

In a landmark decision, the Hong Kong Endangered Species Advisory Committee has voted to destroy almost the entire ivory stockpile, 28 of its estimated 33 tons. more...

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