China

It’s Companies, Not Countries That Are Contributing Most to Climate Change

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — If you’ve ever flown across an ocean and looked out the window from 39,000 feet, it’s easy to think about how incredibly vast this planet is, and wonder how one species among thousands could possibly change the meteorological course of something this big. Then, you think about how there is almost no place remotely close to civilization that you can’t get to in two days or less, thanks almost entirely to fossil fuels. Then you think of the hundreds, if not thousands of other airplanes in the air at this same moment, and the millions of cars and trucks on the roads every single moment as they have been for a century or more.

We’re taking this flight of fancy to prepare you for another fact that’s going to be difficult to believe. If you think the intensity of six or seven billion humans generating enough air pollution to irreversibly change the climate is a bit hard to swallow, you’ll need a glass of water to go with this one.

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Carbon Majors Report, the world’s top 100 fossil fuel companies are responsible for 71% of all the emissions produced by humans on Planet Earth.

The numbers come from the Carbon Disclosure Project’s database, which began collecting data, primarily at the country level in 1988, when the UN IPCC was first created in recognition of the potential severity of the problem.

China Breaking From the Pack in Renewables Race

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — We’ve all heard the stories about companies that didn’t see the future coming and ended up being left behind. Eastman Kodak comes to mind as one example. They blithely kept pumping out film and chemicals as the world switched over to digital photography. They now stand reduced to a shadow of their former glory.

These days one has to wonder, can the same thing happen to a country? The US has long been known as a leader in technological innovation and competitiveness. But in the area of energy, an unusually cozy relationship between the fossil fuel industry and the representatives whose campaigns they have supported has skewed the level playing field of the free market that those same politicians often claim to be the ideal law of the land. Even under Obama, who recognized the urgent need to move into renewables, entrenched subsidies for fossil fuels still exceed those for renewables by a factor of four to one. This, and the acompanying atmosphere of doubt about the science of cliamte change, has served to delay development and deployment of renewable energy sources.

The incoming administration is expected to double down on this backward-looking bias, having said as much in multiple campaign events. Meanwhile, the rest of the world, and China in particular, does not seem to be blinded by such self-serving patronage, and is leaving us in the dust.

Climate Change is Affecting The World’s Wine Production

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Climate change has been responsible for lots of changes on the planet, from loss of species to challenging weather patterns. Now it is affecting global wine production, which is expected to fall by five percent this year. Data shows steep drops in production in most of the southern hemisphere, particularly Chile and Argentina. Climate change is causing harvest time to be pushed back further as hot spells last longer and longer.

BBC Journalist Mishal Husain To Honour 2016 Ashden International Award Winners

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Forward thinking organisations championing solar energy in India, East Africa and beyond; businesses improving the health of citizens through sustainable buildings and access to clean water in China and Indonesia; and a not-for-profit connecting communities with vital services—all are winners of the prestigious 2016 Ashden International Awards.

India Wants The UK To Stay In the EU

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – 'Brexit' is a word on everyone's breath, since UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the 28-nation EU to take place on 23 June this year. A referendum is a vote where everyone of voting age gives a "Yes" or "No" answer to a question; whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast will have won.

China's Shift Away From Carbon-Intensive Production Could Make a Big Difference

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There are many forces at play on both sides of the challenge to rein in carbon emissions before it’s too late. Some of the most important, like the plummeting price of oil, or China’s need to protect citizens by reducing air pollution, are not even directed at the problem. Still, they both have enormous impact.

Another such trend is the recent decision by Chinese leaders to initiate a supply side reform in their economy. What this means is that at the beginning of the 13th Five Year Plan, the Chinese want to shift away from a production-based economy to one that is more consumer and service-based.

The primary reason for this is the economic slowdown that China is experiencing which has led to substantial overcapacity in their manufacturing sector.  The Chinese economic growth rate dropped to 6.9% in 2015, the lowest since the downturn of 2008. But at the same time, in the post COP21 world, the desire to cut emissions plays a key role. A full 25% of China’s emissions comes from the production of goods for the export market. Furthermore, Premier Li Keqiang, is looking to heavy industries like steel and coal to take the lead. Specifically, he said, they should, cut “overcapacity, digest unreasonable inventories, reduce costs and improve efficiency.”

China’s Cheap Steel Has High Cost to the Environment

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Xi Jinping, China’s President visited Britain in the same week that Tata Steel announced job cuts at its U.K. steel plants. Global steel price is at its lowest level in more than a decade, so it is no surprise that the U.K.’s production is becoming economically unviable. China’s economic slowdown has caused a fall in their demand for steel of four percent last year.

Bank of England Governor’s Speech Is a Significant Milestone In the Climate Change Debate

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has given a stark warning that climate change poses a huge risk to global stability.

Shanghai Stock Exchange Launches SSE 180 Carbon Efficient Index With China Securities Index

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – China’s months-long stock market crisis has affected markets around the world. In recent weeks, five trillion dollars in value has been wiped away as investors sold shares over fears about the country’s slowing economy. It has been a turbulent time. However, there has been a glimmer of hope as China launched its first carbon efficient financial index, in a bid to direct capital towards its growing low-carbon industry.

Pages

Subscribe to China