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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...
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...

china: 1/25 of 83
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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...

China: nuclear and coal giants go solar

Oliver Tickell

10th January 2014

Chinese coal and nuclear energy giants are suddenly piling into the solar industry. Is this the way of the future, not only in China but around the world? 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 roars ahead with renewables

John Mathews and Hao Tan

4th January 2014

Reports of China opening a huge new coal fired power station every week belie the reality - China is the new global powerhouse for renewable energy. As John Mathews and Hao Tan report, the world must follow its example. more...
Shanghai at sunset seen from the Jin Mao tower observation deck. The sun has not yet dropped below the horizon; it has simply reached the smog line. Wikimedia commons / Suicup.

Shanghai's 'airpocalypse': can China fix its deadly pollution?

Matthew Currell

13th December 2013

Shanghai is experiencing unprecedented levels of pollution. Last week fine particulate levels reached almost 20 times WHO guidelines, and they are still at dangerous levels. Matthew Currell reports on China's pollution crisis. more...

China accused of stealth land grab over Mozambique's great rice project

Cecilia Anesi and Andrea Fama in co-publication with China Files

30th November 2013

China led the reclamation of the largest abandoned rice farm in Mozambique, with the blessing of the authorities. But now the company involved is accused of land grabbing and displacing thousands. Cecilia Anesi and Andrea Fama report
more...
July 2012 - Filling the reservoir Boguchan HPP.

Siberia: Sold down the river

Margarita Baranova, from Krasnoyarsk, Russia

9th November 2013

The Angara, the only river draining Lake Baikal, might disappear by 2020, as it is progressively dammed for massive hydroelectric schemes designed to aid the development of ... China. more...
CANDU reactor at Qinshan

Chinese nuclear disaster 'highly probable' by 2030

He Zuoxiu

25th October 2013

As the UK prepares to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations with Chinese capital and expertise, a former state nuclear expert warns: China itself is heading for nuclear catastrophe. more...

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