Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ryan Pyle Blog: China Rejects Polluting Projects


According to the Chinese government, you always have to state that when you offer up government statistics because they can never truly be taken as fact, the government rejected USD 27.9 billion of project proposals because they would increase pollution levels.

Now, what can we truly make of this? Window dressing or serious mind shift? And, if it is true and given the already polluted state of the Chinese landscape, how absolutely terrible must these projects of been to be cancelled by a government bent on economic growth and job creation? I shudder to think.

China is already the worlds' largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is also perhaps the world's most aggressive pursuer of greener forms of energy. A strange, but true, contradiction. China has reduced energy use per unite of DGP by 16 percent at the end of 2009, from baseline levels in 2005; and while that is impressive no one really knows what that means and how it'll influence quality of life.

In my opinion China will become a world leader in renewables and they will continue to be world leaders in R&D, and an important testing ground for everything from LED Lights to Solar, Wind, Biofuel and carbon capture. With no congress standing in the way the central government in China has a free hand to pursue their agenda to clean the country up with a free hand; and it'll be interesting to see, especially in secondary cities, how this improves quality of life.

I can tell you that for the last 8 or 9 years Shanghai has improved, in both air quality and bluer skies, every year. Now, I'm no government spokesman, but I really believe that. I live here, day in and day out. If I thought I was risking my life and things were getting worse I most likely wouldn't base myself in China. But I think the opposite. City life, especially in Shanghai and Beijing, is improving. The rest of the country is lagging far behind, and it'll be a great test to see how the government can help pull up the rest of the country, their political power and legitimacy will depend on this fact. More big, nasty, polluting projects will be cancelled in the future; but let's hope it makes a real difference.

Copywrite: Bloomberg
Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.
China Rejects $27.9 Billion of Polluting Projects

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, rejected 190.48 billion yuan ($27.9 billion) of project proposals last year because of concern they will worsen pollution, the environment agency said.

As many as 49 projects weren’t approved in 2009 as they failed to meet government requirements, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on its Web site today.

China is bolstering efforts to reduce pollution and boost the use of cleaner forms of energy such as wind, solar and natural gas. The country plans to cut output of carbon dioxide gas per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, the State Council, or cabinet, said in November.

“The environment ministry will increase the investigation into projects in 2010 and make timely releases of the environment quality of major rivers and cities,” the ministry said in a separate report.

China is on course to meet a 2010 target of cutting energy use per unit of GDP, said Xie Zhenhua, the country’s top climate negotiator, said on Jan. 9.

The country has reduced energy use per unit of GDP by 16 percent at the end of 2009 from the base level in 2005, Xie, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said then.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ying Wang in Beijing at ywang30@bloomberg.net

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Ryan Pyle
Website: www.ryanpyle.com
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