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26 minutes | a month ago
China Goes Green: A new book by Yifei Li and Judith Shapiro
Today, we’re talking about a new book, China Goes Green, by Judith Shapiro and Yifei Li. The book explores the promise and drawbacks of Chinese environmental governance in light of the urgency of climate change and other issues. It examines Chinese environmental governance through examination of specific cases of environmental programs such as the war on air pollution, waste sorting, tree planting campaigns, dam building, the best and road, and overall energy and environmental planning. Judith Shapiro is Director of the Masters in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development for the School of International Service at American University and Chair of the Global Environmental Politics program. She was one of the first Americans to live in China after U.S.-China relations were normalized in 1979, and taught English at the Hunan Teachers’ College in Changsha, China. Professor Shapiro’s research and teaching focus on global environmental politics and policy, the environmental politics of Asia, and Chinese politics under Mao. She is the author, co-author or editor of nine books including including China’s Environmental Challenges (Polity 2016), Mao’s War against Nature (Cambridge University Press 2001). Dr. Shapiro earned her Ph.D. from American University’s School of International Service. She holds an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and another M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Her B.A. from Princeton University is in Anthropology and East Asian Studies. Our second guest is Yifei Li. Yifei Li is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU Shanghai and Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU. In the 2020-2021 academic year, he is also Residential Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich. His recent work appears in Current Sociology, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Environmental Sociology, and the Journal of Environmental Management. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bachelor’s from Fudan University. Further reading: https://www.amazon.com/China-Goes-Green-Coercive-Environmentalism/dp/1509543120/ https://chinadialogue.net/en/cities/as-china-goes-green-should-the-world-celebrate-its-model/
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Barriers to renewables in the Belt and Road Initiative - with Bai Yunwen and Ma Tianjie
In today's podcast, we’re talking about why it’s been so difficult to get financing for renewable energy in the Belt and Road, also known as the Belt-Road-Initiative or BRI. (Note the podcast was recorded prior to the announcement that China would pursue carbon neutrality by 2060.) Our first guest is Ma Tianjie, Tianjie is managing editor of China Dialogue and several times past guest of Environment China. Before joining China Dialogue, he was Greenpeace's Program Director for Mainland China. He holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from American University, Washington D.C. Our second guest is Bai Yunwen. Yunwen is the director of Greenovation Hub. Founded in 2012, Greenovation Hub is, an independent Chinese NGO advancing sound climate and environment governance. Over the years, Yunwen has worked on climate diplomacy, energy policy, and international financial flows. Recently, she and her colleagues have worked with financial regulators to strengthen environmental and social practices on belt-and-road investments. The Belt-and-Road Initiative, aka One Belt One Road, was launched in 2013, and though membership is unofficial it is said to include between 70 countries (Wikipedia) to over 130 countries (according to the BRI website). It’s stated goal is to “promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries … and realize diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.” An analysis by MERICS showed that of US$ 75 billion in completed investments, two-thirds was energy related, most of which was in coal, oil, and gas projects. https://merics.org/en/analysis/powering-belt-and-road The vast majority of coal plants outside of China are funded by investment from China. https://qz.com/1760615/china-quits-coal-at-home-but-promotes-the-fossil-fuel-in-developing-countries/ According to a Greenpeace analysis in 2019, China’s BRI investments have supported 67 GW of coal plants and just 12 GW of wind and solar plants. https://www.power-technology.com/news/china-belt-and-road-wind-solar/ The genesis of today’s podcast is a report by Greenovation Hub, which discussed some of the reasons why it is difficult for Chinese wind and solar companies to invest and do business abroad. https://chinadialogue.net/en/energy/11952-chinese-firms-struggle-to-fund-renewables-projects-overseas/
20 minutes | 2 months ago
Emergency Podcast! Expert Panel Dissects China's 2060 Carbon Neutral Shocker
We don't do this often, but in today's podcast we address some breaking news: President Xi Jinping's announcement that China will peak carbon emissions before 2030 and set a new goal of net-neutral carbon emissions by 2060. The speech, delivered remotely to the United Nations during Climate Week, caught energy and climate watchers by surprise. In this mini-podcast, recorded less than 24 hours after the announcement, host Anders Hove gathered three top energy and climate experts (and long-time Beijing Energy Network speakers) for a short and rapid-fire panel discussion: Li Shuo is senior global policy analyst at Greenpeace East Asia. Lauri Myllyvirta is lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Kaare Sandholt is chief expert at the China National Renewable Energy Centre, at the NDRC Energy Research Institute. To keep the show notes brief, here are the items mentioned or referenced by the guests: The China National Renewable Energy Centre's China Renewable Energy Outlook (full version, may not work in certain browsers: http://boostre.cnrec.org.cn/index.php/2020/03/30/china-renewable-energy-outlook-2019-2/?lang=en; executive summary: https://www.dena.de/fileadmin/dena/Publikationen/PDFs/2019/CREO2019_-_Executive_Summary_2019.pdf) CREO's 2050 Below 2 Degree scenario anticipates non-fossil energy reaching 65% of primary energy (26% wind, 18% solar, 8% nuclear, 6% hydro, 8% other RE). Under this scenario, China would ramp up from installing around 40 GW of solar and 35 GW wind in recent years to 60 GW of solar and 55 GW wind in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), eventually peaking annual installations at 150 GW each wind and solar in 2031-2035), and finally reaching around 2,000 GW of wind and solar in the late 2030s. (China currently has over 200 GW each of wind and solar installed.) See also various publications using the China-SWITCH model, such as Enabling a Rapid and Just Transition Away from Coal," One Earth, 2020 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442150/ and "Rapid cost decrease of renewables and storage accelerates the decarbonization of China’s power system," Nature, 2020, at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16184-x. Lauri mentions his recent article on China's covid recovery investments and how they break down by high-carbon versus low-carbon: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-chinas-covid-stimulus-plans-for-fossil-fuels-three-times-larger-than-low-carbon Kaare mentions Document #9 on Deepening Reform of the Power Sector. You can read more about that 2015 policy here: https://www.raponline.org/blog/a-new-framework-for-chinas-power-sector/ This episode was produced by Anders Hove and edited by Veronica Spurna.
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Clean energy and China’s long road to power market reform
Renewable energy is the key to reducing China's carbon emissions, and for many years experts have seen electricity markets as essential to the promotion of clean energy. In this episode, we check in with a leading U.S. expert on China's power sector, Michael Davidson, to discuss two recent papers he has published on the topic of power markets and renewable energy in China. Michael Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California San Diego. His research and teaching center on the engineering implications and institutional conflicts inherent in deploying low-carbon energy at scale, with a particular focus on China, India, and the U.S. He holds a PhD in engineering systems from MIT and was previously a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. For further reading: http://mdavidson.org/ Hongye Guo Michael R. Davidson, Qixin Chen. Da Zhang, Nan Jiang, Qing Xia, Chongqing Kang, Xiliang Zhang, Power market reform in China: Motivations, progress, and recommendations, Energy Policy, October 2020, at https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0301421520304444. Pre-publication version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jya_iJmW-YqKZqqNg9552LNc-3EYGNY7/view Davidson, M. R. and Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga, Avoiding Pitfalls in China’s Electricity Sector Reforms, The Energy Journal, 2020, at http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/ejarticle.aspx?id=3504. Pre-publication version: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5cx330qg Some useful definitions: Electricity spot market: For most commodities, a spot market refers to buying and selling of a commodity for immediate delivery. For electricity, the spot market usually consists of two markets with different lead times: the day-ahead and intraday markets. Market players on the day-ahead market trade in electricity for the following day. For intraday markets, the hour-ahead market is most common. Dispatch: Since electricity cannot be stored in power lines, the entity operating the power grid must continuously adjust the output of its power plants (or energy storage units) to meet fluctuations in electricity demand. This process is called the dispatch of power plants. Economic dispatch: Economic dispatch is the short-term determination of the optimal output of a number of electricity generation facilities, to meet the system load, at the lowest possible cost, subject to transmission and operational constraints. The main idea is that, in order to satisfy the load at a minimum total cost, the set of generators with the lowest marginal costs must be used first, with the marginal cost of the final generator needed to meet load setting the system marginal cost. Curtailment: Curtailment is the percentage reduction (usually by the grid operator) of output of a renewable power plant below what it could have otherwise produced. It is calculated by subtracting the electricity that was actually produced from the amount of electricity the plant could have produced given available wind or solar resources. Capacity factor: Also known as the capacity utilization factor, this is the ratio of the actual output from a power plant over the year (kWh) to the maximum possible output from it for a year (kWh) under ideal conditions. If a power plant has a maximum output (capacity) of 1,000,000 kW, and it operates at a capacity factor of 100% of the year, it would produce 1,000,000 kWh x 24 days x 365 hours = 8,760 GWh. In China, capacity factor is usually mentioned in terms of the number of operating hours per year, but the concept is the same (just divide operating hours by the number of hours in one year and the resulting percentage is the capacity factor). A higher capacity factor generally translates to a lower cost of electricity, since capital costs will be spread across more operating hours. Wholesale vs retail power markets: A wholesale market allows trading between generators, retailers and other financial intermediaries both for short-term delivery of electricity (see spot market) and for future delivery periods. A retail electricity market exists when end-use customers can choose their supplier from competing electricity retailers. In China, this retail market would typically exist mainly for large industrial consumers. Acronyms: SERC: State Electricity Regulatory Commission (defunct) NDRC: National Development and Reform Commission (responsible for all aspects of economic planning and regulation) NEA: National Energy Administration Background on the California 2000 electricity crisis: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/107th-congress-2001-2002/reports/californiaenergy.pdf In 2001, the Congressional Budget Office analysis stated that: "Long-term solutions to California’s electricity problems will most likely require three changes: removing barriers to the addition of generating capacity, eliminating bottlenecks in the electricity transmission system, and removing regulatory restrictions on the sale of power throughout the broad western market... On the demand side, the prospects for successful restructuring would also improve if consumers faced the full costs of electricity and were better able to adjust their use of power in response to changing prices." The report went on to recommend real-time metering (mostly implemented), devices in homes to monitor power use and automatically schedule or interrupt consumption when prices are high. Here's a blog from leading California expert and California Independent System Operator board of governors member Severin Borenstein, of the University of California Berkeley, that offers specific criticisms of the present state of the California market with respect to consumer participation and utility/ISO communication with consumers: "Why don't we do it with demand?" https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/why-dont-we-do-it-with-demand/ Lastly, here is a fascinating summary from David Roberts of Vox discussing the need for more solar (not less), microgrids, and islanding capability to deal with blackouts and fires in California: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/10/28/20926446/california-grid-distributed-energy
25 minutes | 3 months ago
What's driving Corporate ESG in China?
In today's podcast, we talk to two private sector experts working on the topic of corporate ESG - which refers to corporate policies and performance on the environment, sustainability, and governance. In the first part of the episode, we focus on the policies that have driven companies in China towards greater emphasis of ESG, and which companies are working most seriously on the topic of ESG. We discuss the process of certifying the first project in China under a new international ESG standard for infrastructure. And we close by examining what's next for ESG in China. Our first guest is Dang Anqi. Anqi is an ESG and sustainable investment analyst at Allianz France. She is leading the climate-related financial disclosure and the Sciences Based Targets Initiative at Allianz Investment Management. Her report on sustainable investment won the International Climate Reporting Awards in 2019. (Link: https://www.allianz.fr/content/dam/onemarketing/azfr/common/marque/pdf/BROCH_AZ_AIM_REPORT-2020-EXE_1507.pdf.) Our second guest is Tracy Li, senior manager at SGS Certification and Business Enhancement. SGS is a multinational company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland which provides inspection, verification, testing and certification services. SGS China was established in 1991 with its head office in Beijing, and now has 78 branches in China, and over 15,000 employees. This episode could almost serve as a reference document to the topic of ESG in China, and at points there are a lot of laws and acronyms mentioned in the episode. Here are a few of the key resources you may want to have in front of you to keep up. 2019 Climate Bonds Initiative report on China's green bond market: https://www.climatebonds.net/resources/reports/china-green-bond-market-2019-research-report Major regulator milestones mentioned: In 2016, the People's Bank of China and other ministries issued the Guidelines on Establishing a Green Financial System: https://greenfinanceplatform.org/financial-measures-database/chinas-guidelines-establishing-green-financial-system In 2018, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) issued a directive concerning ESG disclosure: https://www.globalelr.com/2018/02/china-mandates-esg-disclosures-for-listed-companies-and-bond-issuers/ In 2018, the Asset Management Association of China issued the Green Investment Guidelines: https://greenfinanceplatform.org/financial-measures-database/chinas-green-investment-guidelines International ESG standards mentioned: Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI): https://aluminium-stewardship.org/ Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS): https://a4ws.org/ The Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SuRe) standard: https://www.sure-standard.org/ GIB stands for Global Infrastructure Basel (https://gib-foundation.org/), which manages the SuRe standard. (Disclosure: In his day-job with GIZ, Anders Hove has worked with SGS China in completing the first SuRe project certification, under the Sustainable Infrastructure Alliance.)
24 minutes | 4 months ago
What's Up with Carbon Trading in China - with Yan Qin and Stian Reklev
You have probably heard China's carbon market described as the largest carbon market in the world. That's only proper, since China is the largest carbon emitting country and the carbon market will cover the coal power sector, which accounts for around half of the country's emissions. 2020 was originally billed as a major year for climate policy, both globally and in China. Where does China's carbon market policy stand and how is it likely to evolve during the 14th Five-Year Plan period? What announcements should we expect this year? Our first guest is Stian Reklev, co-founder and reporter with Carbon Pulse, which provides news and intelligence on global carbon markets. He is based in Beijing, where he has covered emissions trading markets and climate policy across the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, first for Point Carbon and then for Reuters, before setting up Carbon Pulse in 2015. Our second guest is Yan Qin of Refinitiv, who is based in Oslo. Yan Qin is a power and carbon analyst with extensive experience in energy market analysis and quantitative modelling. Her work focus on the short-term outlook for power and carbon trading, supply-demand forecasting, and energy policy insights, mainly for clients at utilities and energy companies. She was power market consultant before joining the Point Carbon team in 2011. Yan holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Oslo. For further reading: IEA report on China's carbon ETS: https://www.iea.org/reports/chinas-emissions-trading-scheme Carbon Pulse: https://carbon-pulse.com/category/china-national-ets/ Refinitiv's annual global carbon market report and survey: https://www.refinitiv.com/en/resources/special-report/global-carbon-market-report#form
20 minutes | 5 months ago
What to expect for renewable energy in the 14th Five-Year Plan: A Ben Webinar
It's been a busy year for energy policy in China, and we're only in the beginning of July. This summer and fall are crucial periods in the design of the 14th Five-Year Plan, and many listeners are already aware that there are big issues at stake for climate and the environment. In today's podcast, we're releasing the audio of a Beijing Energy Network webinar held in mid-June. Recent Environment China podcast host Anders Hove and China Dialogue's Wu Yixiu delivered a joint presentation covering a lot of important details of this process. Topics touched on include: Recent renewable energy trends in China. Why China is seeing a wave of new coal plant approvals. Whether wind and solar are likely to grow in 2020, and how much. Whether China will enhance its climate ambition or adopt a carbon cap. What the new energy law and clean energy consumption mechanism drafts are all about. Some reading: The 14th Five-Year Plan: What Ideas are on the Table? https://chinadialogue.net/climate/11434-the-14th-five-year-plan-what-ideas-are-on-the-table/ Current Direction for Renewable Energy in China: https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/current-direction-for-renewable-energy-in-china/
25 minutes | 6 months ago
The Race for Alternative Protein in China - with Chloe Dempsey
In this week's podcast, we sit down with Chloe Dempsey to talk about meat, alternative protein, and the environment in China. Chloe is a research fellow at the Cellular Agriculture Society and Yenching scholar at Peking University, where she is completing a Master’s of Economics. Chloe’s thesis focuses on the market for cultured meat in China, with a focus on consumers. Chloe also has an interest in alternative protein, sustainable food solutions and agriculture across Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Chloe comes from both Australia and Ireland, both countries whose key exports to China are agricultural and food related. Chloe has previously lived in Brazil and has supplementary qualifications in philanthropy and social impact design. Chloe’s undergraduate studies were in Law and International relations, and over the last four years she has studied, worked and volunteered across Greater China and the Asia Pacific in commercial law and for environmental and social causes. Since 2016, Chloe has been predominantly resident in Beijing and in her spare time enjoys long distance running and tracking down Beijing’s best jianbing.
22 minutes | 6 months ago
How Green Bonds are Changing Infrastructure Investment in China and Abroad - with Xie Wenhong, Climate Bonds Initiative
Asia is the world's top region for infrastructure investment, and these investments need to be sustainable in order to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A fair number of standards now exist to help investors assess the sustainability of infrastructure, and one of those specific to the debt market is green bonds. In today's episode, we sit down with Xie Wenhong, China Program Manager at the Climate Bonds Initiative. Wenhong has experience working on development and energy in Southeast Asia, and previously worked under Dr. Ma Jun at the Center for Finance and Development of Tsinghua University. He holds an MA in International Policy Studies from Stanford University. Show notes: Greening China's Bond Market, by Sean Kidney: https://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/greening-chinas-financial-system-chapter-10.pdf Introduction to China's green bond market in China Dialogue (2018): https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/10387-International-investors-eye-China-s-green-bonds 2019 Green Bond Market Summary https://www.climatebonds.net/files/reports/2019_annual_highlights-final.pdf Growing green bond markets: The development of taxonomies to identify green assets https://www.climatebonds.net/files/reports/policy_taxonomy_briefing_conference.pdf Comparing China’s Green Definitions with the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy https://www.climatebonds.net/resources/reports/comparing-china%E2%80%99s-green-definitions-eu-sustainable-finance-taxonomy-part-1
24 minutes | 6 months ago
China, energy security, and oil and gas markets - with Michal Meidan
Energy security was already a hot issue in China well before the global oil price collapse and Covid crisis. Now, as the country listens to the government list its coming priorities during the long-delayed Two Sessions of the National People's Congress, energy security is topic Number One. In this episode, we sit down with Dr Michal Meidan, Director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), to talk about China, energy security, and oil and gas markets. Before joining OIES in July 2019, she headed cross-commodity China research at Energy Aspects. Prior to that, she headed China Matters, an independent research consultancy providing analysis on the politics of energy in China. She is the author of numerous academic papers, articles, and books related to China, energy, and political economy. Dr Meidan is also a past speaker at the Beijing Energy Network and has memories of BEN going back over a decade. Show notes: China Key Themes for Energy in 2020 (written in January): https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/China-Key-Themes-for-2020.pdf Geopolitical Shifts and China’s Energy Priorities, March 2020: https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Geopolitical-shifts-and-Chinas-energy-policy-priorities.pdf Dr Meidan’s Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/michalmei Oxford Institute for Energy Studies podcast: China’s Rocky Road to Recovery: https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/chinas-rocky-road-to-recovery-2/
12 minutes | 7 months ago
Lauri Myllyvirta - Covid19, energy, and emissions - Part 2 Q&A
This is the second part of a two-part episode featuring Lauri Myllyvirta, an air pollution and climate expert from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Lauri has over 10 years of experience as an air pollution and climate expert. He has led numerous research projects on air pollution, assessing air quality and health impacts of energy policies, including more than a dozen modeling studies of the air quality and health impacts of coal-fired power plants. Lauri has also contributed to numerous publications around energy solutions and air pollution. He served as a member of the Technical Working Group on regulating emissions from large combustion plants in the EU. He lived in Beijing for many years and was previously a senior member of the Greenpeace East Asia team based in Beijing. In this segment, Lauri and Environment China host Anders Hove discuss some of the issues and questions raised by Lauri's presentation and his other research.
18 minutes | 7 months ago
Lauri Myllyvirta - Covid19, energy, and emissions - Part 1
This is the first part of a two-part episode featuring Lauri Myllyvirta, an air pollution and climate expert from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Lauri has over 10 years of experience as an air pollution and climate expert. He has led numerous research projects on air pollution, assessing air quality and health impacts of energy policies, including more than a dozen modeling studies of the air quality and health impacts of coal-fired power plants. Lauri has also contributed to numerous publications around energy solutions and air pollution. He served as a member of the Technical Working Group on regulating emissions from large combustion plants in the EU. He lived in Beijing for many years and was previously a senior member of the Greenpeace East Asia team based in Beijing. In this segment, Lauri has recorded a video of a presentation he made recently on the impact of Covid-19 on air pollution worldwide as well as the potential for a green stimulus to make this economic recovery focus on more high quality growth. In the second part, we engage in a short Q&A. If you want to view the presentation and video, Lauri is planning to upload the presentation to YouTube, and we’ll have that link in the show notes when it’s up. You can find more content from CREA on their website at: https://energyandcleanair.org/.
17 minutes | 8 months ago
Brainstorming Ideas for a Green Stimulus in China
China, like other major countries, is actively working on measures to stimulate the economy and recover from the coronavirus. The question is, how can China make its stimulus measures as green and beneficial for the economy as possible? In this episode, we cover what types of stimulus have been done in the past, what the principles should be for green stimulus, and what ideas each of us have for how green stimulus could be done this time in China. Finally, we talk about whether it’s likely to actually happen. Guests are: Dimitri DeBoer, who started and leads the china office of Client Earth, a European NGO focused on environmental law, which works with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment as well as the Supreme People’s Court helping with training of environmental judges. Dimitri is also special advisor to the CCICED, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. Wu Yixiu, who leads the Climate communications team with China Dialogue. She has been following and writing about China’s low carbon transition pathway, annual emissions, and other climate related topics for several years. Recently, Yixiu and frequent Environment China co-host Yao Zhe published a piece in China Dialogue, "Stimulating the economy sustainably after coronavirus," at https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11896-Stimulating-the-economy-sustainably-after-coronavirus. Other items referenced in the episode include: Statement of European leaders on green stimulus: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/eu-leaders-back-green-transition-in-pandemic-recovery-plan/ Various ideas from the U.S. on green stimulus: https://medium.com/@green_stimulus_now/a-green-stimulus-to-rebuild-our-economy-1e7030a1d9ee
13 minutes | 9 months ago
Coronavirus: Impacts on wildlife and climate
In this special mini-episode of Environment China, we again talk to Li Shuo of Greenpeace, following up on his earlier interview on the Biodiversity COP, as well as discussing how the recent crisis in China could affect the country's policies and efforts on the broader topics of biodiversity, wildlife protection, and climate change. Li Shuo references a column by recent podcast guest Lauri Myllyvirta, of the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, available here: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-coronavirus-has-temporarily-reduced-chinas-co2-emissions-by-a-quarter Here is another article illustrating graphically how the reduction in industrial activity has influenced emissions, as observed by satellites. The question is, will additional stimulus lead emissions to rebound even more strongly? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-01/air-pollution-vanishes-across-china-s-industrial-heartland
20 minutes | 10 months ago
Beijing's Pursuit of Clean Air - An Interview with Lauri Myllyvirta
Although Beijing still frequently suffers from stretches of heavy air pollution, the city has made astonishing improvements since the Airpocalypse of 2013, when for several days readings of PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter, the most dangerous type of pollution in regional air pollution) literally went off the charts of the U.S. Embassy air quality monitor, which tops out at the U.S. EPA Air Quality Index value of 500. Today, Beijing averages around 40-50 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter over the course of a year. That's still worse than international standards (the World Health Organization guideline is 10 micrograms/m3 on an annual basis for PM2.5), but showing steady improvement since 2013, when the annual average was well above 100. Progress elsewhere in China has been less dramatic. In this episode, we sit down to discuss air quality in Beijing and China with Lauri Myllyvirta, Lead Analyst with the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). Lauri has over 10 years of experience as an air pollution and climate expert, and has led numerous research projects on air pollution, assessing air quality and health impacts of energy policies, including more than a dozen modeling studies of the air quality and health impacts of coal-fired power plants. This research has been published and utilized in numerous countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Europe, Turkey, South Africa and others. Lauri has also contributed to numerous publications around energy solutions and air pollution and is asked frequently to attend seminars and conferences as an expert speaker. He served as a member of the Technical Working Group on regulating emissions from large combustion plants in the EU and currently serves as a member of the expert panel on regulating SO2 emissions in South Africa. For a more visual look at the improvement and other changes in Beijing air quality, see this table of monthly Beijing air quality average readings derived from U.S. Embassy data: https://twitter.com/derznovich/status/1215877238094061569 CREA recently published data on the pollution trend in cities across China, showing how SO2 has seen the greatest improvement, along with PM2.5, while ozone has worsened: https://twitter.com/CREACleanAir/status/1217620620730609666/photo/1 The full report is available from CREA here: https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/CREA-brief-China2019.pdf. Finally, CREA has also analyzed which Chinese cities are on track to meet the most recent air quality targets for this winter: https://twitter.com/CREACleanAir/status/1217620635398156295/photo/2.
30 minutes | a year ago
Global Energy Interconnection: The Dawn of the Global Power Grid?
In this episode, our panel sits down with Edmund Downie to discuss China’s vision for a Global Energy Interconnection, or 全球能源互联网 in Chinese. Downie is an energy analyst with the Analysis Group in Boston, and former Fulbright Scholar at Yunnan University in Southwest China. In past roles with Yale and the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, Downie has written extensively on South and Southeast Asia political and social issues, including for Foreign Policy magazine. While many Western analysts are skeptical about the Global Energy Interconnection plan, and its fantastical map of a world crossed by ultra-high voltage transmission lines stretching from New Zealand to Greenland and everywhere in between, Downie takes a nuanced view: “There are many things that GEI can achieve reflecting the interests driving GEI… The key is to think of [GEIDCO, the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization] as a planning and research body that’s occupying a niche between global energy governance debates and more on-the-ground work [with countries] to figure out how they want to do their energy planning.” Various versions of the Global Energy Interconnection world map can be found online. Here is one from a 2019 GEIDCO slide showing the 9 horizontal and 9 vertical grids proposed under the plan: https://twitter.com/damienernst1/status/1136574555995148289. Ultra-high voltage (UHV) refers to alternating-current lines over 1,000 kV or over 800 kV for direct-current lines, under a Chinese definition. A summary of UHV development in China can be found here: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-11-06/china-to-speed-up-construction-of-ultrahigh-voltage-power-lines-101343605.html. A typical high-voltage transmission line in the U.S. would be 360 kV AC, and the U.S. operates a handful of high-voltage (+/- 500 kV) DC lines such as the Pacific DC Intertie, built in 1982, that connects California to the hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest. Edmund Downie, “Sparks fly over ultra-high voltage power lines,” China Dialogue, January 29, 2018, at https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/10376-Sparks-fly-over-ultra-high-voltage-power-lines. Edmund Downie, “China’s Vision for a Global Grid: The Politics of Global Energy Interconnection,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 3, 2019, at https://reconnectingasia.csis.org/analysis/entries/global-energy-interconnection/. Biography of Liu Zhenya via Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Zhenya Ned references Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy. Here is a recent article about the company’s recent demise: Ros Davidson, “Ambitious Clean Line Energy ‘wrapping up’,” Windpower Monthly, February 1, 2019, at https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1523646/ambitious-clean-line-energy-wrapping-up. The scenario analysis game this time features a report from the Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science research agency. The report is P. Graham et al., “Modelling the Future Grid Forum scenarios,” CSIRO and Roam Consulting, 2013, at https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/download?pid=csiro:EP1311347&dsid=DS3. Note that the scenarios are highly simplified and the summaries we read out are not direct quotations from the CSIRO report.
26 minutes | a year ago
Just Act Naturally! China and Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change
Biodiversity loss and climate change have may of the same causes: ecosystem destruction both releases carbon into the atmosphere and shrinks the area available for threatened species to survive. Nature-based solutions are emerging as a framework to address these challenges together. Most recently, China and New Zealand were named co-chairs of the Nature-Based Solutions Track for the Climate Action Summit, one of nine areas the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is focusing on for solutions to the climate crisis. In this podcast, we sit down with Xi Xie from the Nature Conservancy to discuss Nature-Based Solutions in China and China's role in promoting NBS worldwide. Xi Xie is the Climate Change and Energy Director for TNC China. She has 12 years of experience working on international climate efforts, both in government and NGO roles. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University. In the show, participants discuss a paper written in part by authors from TNC, Bronson W. Griscom et al., "Natural climate solutions," Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), September 5, 2017, at https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2017/10/11/1710465114.full.pdf. Other terms discussed in the show are: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Union_for_Conservation_of_Nature The World Resources Institute (WRI): https://www.wri.org/.
24 minutes | a year ago
EV Road Trip with Environment China!
This week we join past guest and recent host, Anders Hove, for a journey to Inner Mongolia, Northern California, and Central Europe, where he recently tested the charging infrastructure on three long-distance electric vehicle road trips. We examine how EVs compare on fueling cost, emissions, and convenience, and discuss how the experience compared across the three regions, along with potential recommendations for policy-makers. Anders is a non-resident fellow with Columbia University's Center for Global Energy Policy as well as Project Director at GIZ China. He is the co-author with Prof David Sandalow of Columbia University of the recent paper "Electric Vehicle Charging in China and the United States": https://energypolicy.columbia.edu/research/report/electric-vehicle-charging-china-and-united-states https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11172-Electric-vehicle-charging-What-can-the-US-and-China-learn-from-each-other- Yiyang Chenzi and Cynthia Wang serve as co-hosts this week. We hope you enjoy the program!
27 minutes | a year ago
Preview of COP 25 with Li Shuo
Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor at Greenpeace East Asia, gives a preview of the biggest issues on the table at the climate COP (Conference of the Parties) this year in Madrid, and what role China will likely play in the proceedings. Li Shuo's official bio: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/li-shuo Li Shuo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lishuo_gp?lang=en Link to COP 25 official web page: https://unfccc.int/cop25 (Note: episode republished due to sound issues.) The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a carbon trading mechanism that has enabled developed countries to offset their own emissions by investing in or purchasing credits from carbon reduction projects in developing countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Development_Mechanism.
20 minutes | a year ago
China Data Centers and Renewable Energy, an Interview with Ye Ruiqi
China's data centers currently consume over 2% of China's electricity production and that share is growing quickly. In today's episode, we sit down with Greenpeace East Asia's Ye Ruiqi to discuss how some companies are turning to renewable energy to meet the growing need for clean energy to power data centers. A link to the report Powering the Cloud: How China's Internet Industry Can Shift to Renewable Energy, from September 2019, can be found here: https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/24112/electricity-consumption-from-chinas-internet-industry-to-increase-by-two-thirds-by-2023-greenpeace/ Ruiqi is a climate and energy campaigner from Greenpeace East Asia, and covers topics like China’s renewable energy development, power market reform, and IT sector sustainability. Before joining Greenpeace, Ruiqi worked as a grassroots organizer at the US Public Interest Network after graduated from University of California Santa Barbara. In the episode, we reference Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). You can find an explanation of different types of PPAs (physical and virtual) from the Rocky Mountain Institute here: Physical PPA https://rmi.org/insight/virtual-power-purchase-agreement/ Ruiqi also mentions the career of Li Junfeng. An older bio can be found here ( http://www.thejei.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/205-697-1-PB.pdf ), but we note that Li is now retired from the positions mentioned here, though he is still very active on issues of renewable energy and climate change policy.
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