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Summer Break 2018!
You may be wondering, "Hey! Why has my Environment China feed been so quiet recently!?". Well, we are taking an end-of-summer break. We'll be back in one to two months with new episodes, and some exciting news about future developments with our podcast.
In the meantime, enjoy past episodes from our library, check out other China-focused podcasts online, or... consider joining our all-volunteer Environment China podcast team. Email us at email@example.com if you are in Beijing and want to get involved with producing our show.
|Sep 17, 2018|
马天杰，中外对话北京运营副主编。加入中外对话之前，他担任绿色和平中国大陆项目总监。他于2009年取得美利坚大学国际环境政策硕士学位。他的英文博客Panda Paw, Dragon Claw (中文名：萌猛哒) 致力于从主流媒体以外的视角去记录和分析中国海外投资的足迹。
如果您有兴趣阅读Panda Paw, Dragon Claw 博客, 请点击 https://pandapawdragonclaw.blog/
Ma Tianjie is Beijing Managing Editor of chinadialogue. Before joining chinadialogue, he was Greenpeace's Program Director for Mainland China. He holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from American University, Washington D.C. His English blogPanda Paw, Dragon Claw, is a conversation about China‘s footprint beyond its border.
If you are interested in learning more about chinadialogue, please visit https://www.chinadialogue.net/
If you are interested in reading Panda Paw, Dragon Claw, please go to https://pandapawdragonclaw.blog/
|Sep 07, 2018|
LIVE Episode! "Podcasting in the 'Jing"
This week, we have a special episode that was recorded LIVE in Beijing at an event on July 5th. Environment China hosted an evening panel discussion on the growing trend of podcasting and podcasters in Beijing. We were joined by hosts and producers from four relatively new Beijing-produced podcasts, including: Zhang Ya Jun from the Wo Men podcast, John Artman from the China Tech Talk podcast, Brendan Davis from the Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom podcast, and our own Noah Lerner from Environment China.
The evening was moderated by another of our hosts and producers, Kate Logan. As you'll hear, Kate led an interesting discussion on the origin stories and motivations behind each of the shows, as well as on some technical talk and tips on how each of the guests sets up, records, and produces their show.
|Aug 08, 2018|
“十三五”煤控目标如何实现，“一带一路”建设如何促进绿色发展，是目前中国能源环境问题的两个重要焦点。华北电力大学袁家海教授作为电力经济和电力低碳转型的专家，从电力发展的角度就以上问题开展了深度研究。在这期节目中，袁教授将通过实地调研案例，与我们分享他在 “十三五”电力行业控煤政策研究以及“一带一路”绿色电力合作研究中的发现。如果希望进一步阅读相关研究成果，可以在网络上搜索《持续推进电力改革 提高可再生能源消纳》，下载这份报告。
|Jul 20, 2018|
Can Blockchain be Green?
In today’s episode, we check the millennial box and take a look at blockchain -- and its energy implications. Alarming headlines came out earlier this year charting the rising energy consumption of Bitcoin and tracing the majority of its mining operations back to China. We are joined by Sophie Lu, head of China Research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who has written a report on the topic. She describes why Bitcoin mining consumes so much electricity, why it is taking place in China, and what future power consumption might be as demand for Bitcoin rises but its manufacture also becomes more efficient. Sophie also discusses the broader potential environmental benefits of the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin – particularly its use in making supply chains more transparent and facilitating distributed energy grids.
|Jul 11, 2018|
Our guests for this episode are Song Qingchuan and Zhao Xingfeng, who are both researcher-turned-social entrepreneurs in ecological protection. After working in international NGOs on special research projects for a few years, Song and Zhao decided to make the change and be the change in their ways to protect the ecological environment they are passionate about. By combining their technical expertise and business minds, Song, Zhao and a few like-minded friends established Daji Nature, a social enterprise that offers business solutions to the management of protected areas in China, which they believe is practical and replicable.
|Jul 05, 2018|
Turning Smog into Diamonds: Environmental Art in China
What if we could turn smog into diamonds? This seemingly far-fetched idea is actually not so far from reality: a Dutch designer recently installed a tower in one of Beijing's most well-known art districts which does exactly that. While the installation is more art than long-term pollution solution, what if the growing movement of pollution-focused art in China could influence policy and the way that environmental issues are regulated, thus posing scalable impacts?
We sit down with Dr. Kathinka Fürst, assistant adjunct professor of environmental policy at Duke Kunshan University, to discuss her recent research on smog art in China. Dr. Fürst sheds light on how artists are confronting pollution challenges with creativity and innovation, as well as the role that art could potentially play by impacting policy. She also touches on her previous research on environmental civil society in China as a pollution regulator. You can read more about Dr. Fürst's work on her webpage: https://dukekunshan.edu.cn/en/environment/faculty/kathinka-f%C3%BCrst-phd.
|Jun 28, 2018|
We all have a right to work and live in a healthy environment. When pollution impedes this right, legal measures can be taken on behalf of victims. What happens to those who do not know their legal rights? How do victims that are not aware of environmental rights advocate for pollution compensation?
Our guest on Environment China today is Professor Wang Canfa, a veteran environment law expert who is a vehement advocate of spreading legal knowledge to all members of society. In 1998, he established the first grassroots environmental NGO, China Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, to provide legal help to pollution victims and opened a telephone hotline to serve as many people as possible. So far, he and his organization have successfully helped victims to file over 700 law suits on pollution cases. Professor Wang Canfa is devoted to improving public awareness on environmental rights and dedicated to providing safeguards to victims of pollution. Please visit www.clapv.org to find out more about China Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims.
|Jun 21, 2018|
How to be Zero Waste in China
Meet Joe and Carrie, the couple spreading the zero waste gospel in China. The dynamic duo opened the first zero waste store, “The Bulk House”, in China this year, selling products to help others live the zero waste lifestyle they adhere to. In today’s episode, they walk us through a day in the life of a zero waster - guiding us through everything from how to eat without waste to the world of eco-friendly toothbrushes and toilet paper. They also reflect on their choice to start a business rather than a non-profit in order to have a wider impact. For more information on their shop and movement, search “The Bulk House” on WeChat.
|Jun 13, 2018|
|Jun 07, 2018|
Legal Weapons in China’s War on Pollution
In 2016, eight companies that had dumped untreated waste in the Tengger Desert were sued by NGOs. China’s Supreme People’s Court ruled that a lower court in Ningxia was liable to accept the case, and the decision eventually resulted in an environmental restoration bill worth about 91 million USD.
Cases like this illustrate how courts are becoming a key battlefield in China’s so-called 'war on pollution' — but when and how did this shift take place? And beyond courtrooms, what other legal and policy tools has China recently added to its pollution-fighting arsenal?
We sit down with Dimitri de Boer, environmental cooperation expert and head of European NGO ClientEarth’s China Programme, to discuss recent advancements in China’s environmental laws and how these laws are being applied in practice. Dimitri shares his insights on China’s vast network of environmental courts, the importance of 2015 amendments to China’s Environmental Protection Law, and ClientEarth’s work to train judges who are handling environmental-related matters. You can learn more about ClientEarth’s work in China here: https://www.clientearth.org/china/.
|May 31, 2018|
Our guest for this episode is Xiaoyuan “Charlene” Ren, founder of MyH2O - Water Information Network, a platform that collects information on drinking water status in rural areas across China. Charlene believes that citizen science is the way to go, so her team, together with college students, local communities and young people that returned to their hometown, is building a network of water information across close to 1000 villages, with the hope to help increase access to clean and safe water resources in regions that are most in need.
|May 23, 2018|
Conserving Water Along China's Old Silk Road
Over 600 million Chinese people live in water-stressed regions. And perhaps nowhere are China's water challenges more acute than in the dusty farm-town regions of Xinjiang, along China's old Silk Road. This episode follows a 2000-year journey to hear the water conservation story of one town, Turpan, from an ancient underground canal system ("karez"), to a paradoxical modern irrigation effort that only exacerbated water table depletion, to a complete rethink of how communities can conserve their water.
We sit down with Jiang Liping, a Senior Irrigation Engineer at the World Bank who recently completed a six-year water conservation project in Turpan. The episode explores how satellite data, a switch from growing wheat to grapes, and a revamp of water conservation accounting were able to help restore water back to Turpan's rivers, lakes, and ecosystems.
|May 17, 2018|
Papua New Guinea has the largest rain forestry in Asia Pacific. It is also where the largest land grabbing is happening in modern history. From 2014 to 2016, Global Witness has tracked a supply chain of 9,000 miles from rain forestry in PNG to retail stores in the United States. Global wood trade has caused illegal deforestation, environmental degradation and invasion to the life of indigenous people in PNG. Our guest for this episode is Yin Beibei from Global Witness, who is in charge of the NGO’s forestry program in Asia Pacific region. She traced the footprint of woods from rain forestry and shared her story in tracking illegal wood trade in PNG.
|May 10, 2018|
Healthy Diet, Healthy Planet
Solar panels and wind turbines are probably the first things that come to mind when you think of solutions to climate change. A less prominent but equally critical solution is adopting a plant-based diet. Studies show that the meat industry contributes 15% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Our guest today, Peggy Liu, is the founder of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), a Shanghai-based environmental non-profit. She also serves on the board of Project Drawdown, a global research project that ranks the top solutions to climate change. Through her work on the project, she realized that what we put on our plate is key to solving climate change – adopting plant-based diets ranks as Drawdown’s #4 solution and eight of the top 20 solutions are food-related. As we previously discussed on our Green [Soy] Bean episode, beef consumption in China is rising. Peggy set out to address this source of emissions by launching Food Heroes, a JUCCCE program that teaches kids and their families how to eat a diet that is healthy for the body and planet. Food Heroes employs games and characters to make eating this diet fun. A broader lesson from Peggy’s work: sometimes the best solutions to climate change are not packaged as such climate solutions per se. Peggy has found that health benefits are strong motivators for families to adopt a meat-free diet in China. If emissions drop because families want to eat healthier, that’s a win-win according to Food Heroes. For more about Food Heroes, JUCCCE, and Peggy Liu, you can explore their website here: https://www.juccce.org/about
|May 02, 2018|
Our guest for this episode is Xie Yan, associate research professor in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She is a leading expert on biodiversity in China and has initiated the development of Protected Area Friendly System. Prof. Xie believes that the Protected Area Friendly System provides an effective way to preserve natural resources and biodiversity by increasing income of local communities and mitigating conflicts between nature conservation and economic development.
|Apr 26, 2018|
Treating Healthcare's Environmental Side Effects
Doctors abide by a millennia-old Hippocratic oath to “do no harm.” This oath usually refers to patient care, but today’s guest thinks the motto should extend to the environmental standards of the healthcare industry as well. Zhao Ang is the co-founder of Rock Energy and Environment Institute (REEI), a Chinese think tank that researches environment and climate issues. In the episode, he walks us through the impacts of healthcare on the environment from disposing the mercury thermometers Chinese hospitals still use to the supply chain of pharmaceuticals. As for climate impacts, the organization estimates that healthcare contributes 3-5% of China’s emissions and rising as the industry booms. REEI works with the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals alliance to introduce best practices in resiliency, low-carbon policies, and eco-friendly products to China, including facilitating a partnership with three Chinese hospitals. For more information on best practices, see the World Bank report “Climate-smart Healthcare” (English), which REEI translated into Chinese and recently launched in China.
|Apr 18, 2018|
Cats Without Borders: Conserving Snow Leopards
Have you ever crossed frozen rivers to climb 4,000-meter ridges in search of snow leopards? This is a normal day "in the office" for Dr Justine Shanti Alexander. As a Regional Ecologist for the Snow Leopard Trust, Justine supports snow leopard research and conservation efforts in China and Mongolia to further safeguard the species. The cats live in the border regions of Central Asia, spanning 12 countries; the home range of males has been estimated to cover up to 200 km squared - that is half the size of Barbados. Due to the sheer expanse of their range in high remote mountain areas, it is difficult to quantify the population size, but it is guestimated that less than 10,000 individuals remain. Justine tells us how she tracked snow leopards during her PhD and now works with Shanshui (featured in our episode "Nature Conservation: There's an app for that"), training herders working in snow leopard habitats to help protect them. Our guest discusses how saving snow leopards can have trickle down effects, protecting their prey, grasslands, and the local people who coexist with them. China holds 60% of the global snow leopard habitat and therefore plays a key role in its conservation. For more information on Justine's work with the Snow Leopard Trust, visit: www.snowleopard.org
|Apr 04, 2018|
Live! From the Bookworm! The Biggest Stories from 2017
Since Environment China launched in early 2017, there has already been significant change in China’s energy, environment, and climate landscape. In this episode, recorded as a live panel as part of the Bookworm International Literary Festival, we focus on the idea of “transformation,” and have our three guests walk through the backstories behind the China’s biggest environmental and climate headlines, including the latest from China's environmental governance reshuffling, its war on air pollution and with it the growing pains of switching from coal to gas heating, and the evolving debate over when China will be able to peak its carbon emissions.
Joining us is Sophie Lu, Head of China Research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Huw Slater, Project and Research Manager at China Carbon Forum, and Dr. Xu Shengnian, Project Officer of the Climate and Energy Team at Global Environmental Institute.
Please note: as this was our first time doing a live podcast recording, there were some slight technical issues with the sound quality that we were unable to fix. Apologies, and thank you for your understanding!
|Mar 22, 2018|
Fashion Forward: Greening China's Apparel Manufacturing
Many consumers don’t realize that apparel manufacturing can be hugely polluting — and especially so to the environment in China, where roughly half of the world’s textiles are produced. Luckily, there are many easy ways for factories to cut down on energy and resource use and adopt more environmentally-friendly production processes. Part of the challenge is motivating factories to implement these best practices, which may seem daunting but can actually pose significant cost reduction benefits for manufacturers.
We sat down with Linda Greer, Senior Scientist on the Health Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to discuss NRDC’s efforts to green fashion production in China. Linda launched NRDC’s Clean by Design program in 2009 in order help to alleviate the burden of textiles manufacturing on China’s environment and natural resources. The program works with brands’ manufacturers to scale up the adoption of low-cost, high-efficiency improvements that reduce the overall supply chain environmental load.
To learn more about Clean by Design, check out this overview: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/cbd-to-scale-report.pdf. Linda also recently published a blog calling on apparel companies to adopt science-based targets for carbon reductions in their supply chains, which you can access here: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/linda-greer/new-report-promotes-need-fashion-industry-action.
|Mar 08, 2018|
Playing Serious Games for Policy Change
China is a country with over 600 million gamers. What if all of this game playing could lead to good? With its Serious Games Initiative, the DC-based Wilson Center is working to communicate science and policy complexities through the world’s most dynamic medium: gaming. Most recently, the Serious Games Initiative teamed up with another Wilson Center project,“Storytelling is Serious Business,” to introduce local Chinese NGOs to how games like “Card Against Calamity” and “Eco Chains” could serve as vehicles for policy change.
In this episode, we chat with Beijing Energy Network veteran speaker Jennifer Turner, director of the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, and her colleague Elizabeth Newbury, who directs the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative. Jennifer and Liz share their experiences introducing "serious games" to NGOs in China during their most recent trip and discuss the potential for local NGOs to leverage gaming to improve China’s environmental policies. Jennifer also reflects on her 18 years of building bridges between Chinese and US environmental civil society and where Chinese green civil society may be headed going forward.
You can read more about the Serious Games Initiative on the Wilson Center’s website here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/serious-games-initiative. And if you listened to our second ever episode with Jennifer on “poo power,” you might be keen to check out the hot-off-the-press "InsightOut Issue 4 - Waste Power: Can Wastewater Revolutionize Pollution Control and Clean Energy in Cities?," also on the Wilson Center’s website here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/insightout-issue-4-waste-power-can-wastewater-revolutionize-pollution-control-and-clean.
|Feb 15, 2018|
Air Quality Innovations: Finding Data in the Smog
Beijing's smoggy air has sparked a wave of creativity, giving rise to a range of products that aim to protect the public and their health. One innovative start-up, Kaiterra (formerly known as Origins), creates portable, high-accuracy monitors that measure and map the world’s air. Kaiterra's "laser eggs" have shed light on pollution data that was previously hard to come by for consumers in China and worldwide.
We sit down with Liam Bates, co-founder and CEO of Kaiterra, to hear about how Kaiterra got its start, learn how laser eggs actually work, and explore the potential for a small start-up to help solve global air pollution challenges. Sneak preview: Turns out that being a Chinese TV-star DOES prepare one to become CEO of a tech company!
Check out more about Kaiterra on their website: www.kaiterra.com.
|Feb 01, 2018|
A Slice of Sustainability: China's first F&B B Corp
Jade Gray set out with a mission to create the “Patagonia of Pizza.” Originally from New Zealand, today’s guest has pioneered sustainable entrepreneurship in Beijing over the past two decades. He is the co-founder of Gung Ho! Ventures, which includes the Gung Ho! Pizza restaurants in Beijing. To become the “Patagonia of Pizza,” Jade’s company has turned their operations inside out looking for ways to achieve holistic sustainability from using upcycled construction materials to cutting power use. In recent years, the company became the third “B Corp” in China. “B Corp” is a designation awarded to businesses that demonstrate excellence in their environmental, community, labor, and governance practices. We talked with Jade about how he has managed to take on sustainability in his relatively small company and how the ideas his company espouses are beginning to take root more widely in China.
You can find Gung Ho! Pizza’s B Corp evaluation here: https://www.bcorporation.net/community/gung-ho-pizza
|Jan 17, 2018|
Environment China is on winter break this week!
We will be back in two weeks' time, with our regular schedule of episodes and interviews with environmental professionals in China.
In the meantime... we hope that you are enjoying your holidays and the new year of 2018, too!
|Jan 03, 2018|
In recent years, more and more environmental issues were exposed to the public through the documentation by environmental journalist, a profession that’s relatively new in China. In today’s Environment China Podcast, let’s hear the stories from a Chinese environmental journalist. Shi Yi works for 澎湃新闻 (www.thepaper.cn). Since 2014, she broke the news on topics such as biodiversity, climate change, wild animal poaching, etc. Her investigation has pushed forward the protection of Xinjiang Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate Nature Reserve, which won her the 2016 Best Environmental Journalist Award by China Dialogue. In the last 2 years, she has also investigated the environmental issues caused by Chinese and Chinese enterprises in Africa, such as ivory trade in Namibia and illegal lumbering in Congo.
|Dec 28, 2017|
Oh Dam! Pumping Sustainability into Chinese Hydropower Investments
China has a lot of dams – about 87,000 of them — and has almost one half of the world’s large dams, including the largest, the Three Gorges Dam. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that China’s hydro companies were among the first wave of Chinese companies to zou chu qu -- to "go out” from China in the early 2000s. But while hydroelectric plants represent a source of non-fossil energy, they are also often associated with ecological and social disruption.
In this episode, we chat with Stephanie Jensen-Cormier, China Program Director at International Rivers, about the progress being made by Chinese hydropower companies to minimize environmental impacts domestically and abroad. She has almost ten years of experience working on and researching environmental and China-related issues and is also a long-time member of the Beijing Energy Network. You can read more about Stephanie’s reflections on Chinese overseas hydropower investment in a recent blog post she authored here.
And exciting news — Stephanie’s team is hiring for consultant and intern positions! Please visit the International Rivers website to access the JDs and contact Stephanie if you’re interested in joining the International Rivers team.
|Dec 21, 2017|
Every Bite Counts！资深食品安全工作者如何看待中国农业与食物的未来
We are delighted to have Wang Jing from Greenpeace East Asia to share her work experience in the field of food and agriculture in this episode. We have learned the reasons behind food safety incidents and discussed the role of central and local government, business, farmers and consumers can play in addressing the issue. Jing has also shared some of her most exciting and interesting stories on organic farming. She also runs a WeChat public account (吃货拯救世界) on great organic food. Please search chihuozhengjiushijie to follow her.
|Dec 14, 2017|
Following the Belt and Road to COP
During the recent international climate talks in Bonn, Environment China partnered with chinadialogue to produce an episode on China’s Belt and Road in the context of the climate conference.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an overseas investment and development framework that has grown to include 68 countries, has taken centre stage in the discussion about how to direct investments away from carbon-intensive industries to clean and sustainable technologies. In this episode, representatives from non-governmental organisations and government officials from the Philippines, Pakistan, and Zambia, weigh in on what the Belt and Road means for climate action overseas.
The episode then turns to Sam Geall, executive editor at chinadialogue, to learn how China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as South-South Climate Cooperation, fit into its emerging role on the international climate stage. Sam discusses how China can improve its approach to overseas finance to bring investments in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
|Dec 06, 2017|
余元 (Carrie) 是一位在北京创业的武汉女孩。她酷爱户外活动，崇尚极简主义。在践行极简生活方式的旅程中，她认识到了零浪费（zero waste)的生活方式，并创办了自己的社会企业The Bulk House/好思。在北京，余元主办了大大小小的工作坊和分享活动来倡导零浪费的生活方式，如果您对她的活动感兴趣，请关注“ TheBulkHouse好思出品”公众号。
The booming e-commerce is great news for China, but less so when it comes to the impact of waste packaging on the environment. In today’s environment China, our guest speaker Carrie will share the experience of her “old fashioned” lifestyle without any online shopping or food delivery.
Carrie Yu (余元) is the founder of The Bulk House, a brand dedicated to making “zero waste” convenient for everyone through content, events and providing environmentally friendly products. Her minimalism life style was triggered after being fed up of seeing piles of trash dotted around the streets of Beijing. Carrie hosts various workshops and sharing events in Beijing to promote zero waste lifestyle. If you are interested in learning more about Carrie’s events, please subscribe to her wechat channel “TheBulkHouse好思出品”.
|Nov 30, 2017|
Bonn Voyage, Part 2: Inside COP Negotiations
Episode 2 of 3 of our miniseries on COP23 in Bonn, Germany. Our Chinese-language episodes will be returning in the following week.
Maybe you’ve heard of the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, or even the ignominious Copenhagen summit. But only the most selfless, committed among us stay tuned-in to the UN climate negotiations through the thrice-a-year intersessional meetings.
During the final days of COP23 in Bonn, Germany, we chat with Li Shuo, an international climate negotiation expert at Greenpeace East Asia, to hear about the inglorious work of parsing through the fine print of UN negotiation text. Li Shuo explains the state of the UN climate negotiations in the post-Paris Agreement, post-Trump era, and describes the full-body, pound-shedding, caffeine-fueled commitment needed to engage in UN climate advocacy, running from meeting to meeting.
One last note: we had a hard time finding a quiet place to record at the COP23 conference; apologies to our audience for the technical difficulties and "ghost-like" sounds in this episode.
|Nov 23, 2017|
Bonn Voyage, Part 1: Voices of COP23
BONUS Episode from Environment China!
How many cops does it take to screw in a climate lightbulb? At least 23? This last week, Bonn, Germany, hosted the 23rd "Conference of the Parties" (COP23) -- the latest iteration of the UN climate negotiations that have dragged on since the early 1990s.
Over two weeks, as national delegations from around the world try to hammer down the technical details of the Paris Agreement, tens of thousands of people -- researchers, activists, politicians, journalists, celebrities -- flock to Bonn to take part in the biggest climate event of the year.
But what exactly is all this COP fuss about? In this COP miniseries, we'll be taking a dive into the weeds of the negotiations and the role of China on the international climate stage. But first, we're taking you behind the scenes at the UN climate talks, to hear a cross-section of voices, some young, some old, calling for urgent climate action.
|Nov 20, 2017|
Battle of the Brands: Greening Global Supply Chains
Which company has a greener supply chain in China: Apple or Dell? Mobike or Ofo? Puma or Nike?
China is often referred to as the “workshop of the world,” producing around a quarter of the world’s manufacturing output by value. But along with China’s rapid industrialization and modernization have come grave environmental impacts — the result, in part, of a “pollute first, clean up later” mindset. To address supply chain environmental impacts resulting from the globalization of trade, the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), a local NGO based in Beijing, is leveraging information transparency and corporate responsiveness to brand reputation.
Environment China chats with IPE’s green supply chain project manager, Helen Ding, about how IPE applies its Blue Map Database of corporate environmental violation records to push major brands to improve the transparency and environmental performance of their supply chains in China. Helen discusses IPE’s Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) rankings of over 250 major multinational and Chinese companies, as well recent investigations into China’s growing shared bicycle industry, among other related topics. Listeners interested in learning more can check out the CITI rankings and annual report on IPE’s website (http://wwwen.ipe.org.cn/GreenSupplyChain/CITI.aspx), or watch a short PBS feature on IPE’s green supply work.
|Nov 16, 2017|
Waste is an inevitable result of human consumption. In recent years, both municipal and rural waste management are challenged by the sheer volume of waste that is still rapidly growing. The waste disposal system directly affects the hygiene, health, and well-being of our lives. Based on international experiences, no matter how advanced the incineration, landfill, or composting technologies would be, it is crucial to manage the waste generation and recycling. Our guest today is CHEN Liwen, an environmental practitioner from China. After studying abroad, she returned to China and started her waste management project in Chinese villages, where she helped to build the sustainable waste management systems. In today’s podcast, Liwen will share her stories and insights based on her experience from the Nanyu village, Hebei Province of China. If you are interested in Liwen’s projects, please subscribe to her Wechat channel “东西异同” (in Chinese). Here is another report on Liwen’s project by CCTV (in Chinese). http://tv.cctv.com/2017/09/09/VIDEmAgmEInNAzkwABSZ3uzW170909.shtml
|Nov 09, 2017|
Reeling in China's 'Trash Fish' Problem
Over the past 50 years, overfishing has caused China’s domestic catch to shift from a focus on high-value, mature fish to catching massive numbers of low-value fish. The smallest and most juvenile of these are often referred to as ‘trash fish,’ as they’re too small for human consumption — and they account for nearly a third of China’s total catch, according to a recent Greenpeace report. But because there is also a growing industry of turning trash fish into feed for fish and livestock, solving China's 'trash fish' challenge isn’t so simple.
In this episode, we talk with Zhou Wei and Yang Yi, Ocean Campaigners at Greenpeace East Asia and two of the main authors of Greenpeace’s trash fish report. We explore what exactly 'trash fish' means, how overfishing of China’s domestic fisheries resources has played a role in causing the current trash fish problem, and some of the solutions that Greenpeace recommends to ameliorate this, er, 'fishy' problem.
|Nov 02, 2017|
IPCC指出，全球49%的温室气体排放与城市有关，与此同时，我们正在经历大规模快速的城市化浪潮，预计2030年全球将有60%的人口生活在城市中，而2050年这个数字将增长至70%。这既是机遇又是挑战，城市化过程需要从传统模式向低碳模式转变，而城市的经济发展模式也需要经历转型的阵痛。可以说，城市转型的成败关乎全球2℃目标的实现与否。中国自2010年开始进行低碳试点工作，截至目前已确定了29个省区81个城市进行低碳试点。如何评价中国城市的低碳发展进程？独立智库绿色创新发展中心联合美国劳伦斯伯克利国家实验室，在能源基金会的支持下开展了一项名为“中国城市绿色低碳发展指数”的研究，通过构建一套多维度综合指标体系，选择115个样本城市，收集数据，基于指标体系和城市分类对中国城市重点领域的绿色低碳发展行动和政策的实施效果进行量化分析，追踪和比较城市绿色低碳发展状态和程度。本次中国环境播客请到这项研究的主要负责人绿色创新发展中心的杨鹂博士为我们详细解读这项研究及其主要发现。 The guest of this episode is Dr. Yang Li, the Program Head of innovative Green Development Program (iGDP). Recently, iGDP, Energy Foundation (China), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) China Energy Group launched the China Low-carbon Green Index of City (China Logic) to track green low-carbon development in China’s cities to explore future development models. It is a multi-dimensional comprehensive index, which selects 115 cities as samples, collects data, quantifies green low-carbon development policy implementation and actions, and tracks and compares cities’ green low-carbon development. Yang Li shared the details of this research and key findings.
|Oct 26, 2017|
Antarctic Ambitions: Environmental Education for China's Youth
Most of China’s youth are being raised in urban jungles, with little chance to experience and understand the earth’s tremendous ecosystems. But one intrepid environmentalist from Shandong wanted to see Antarctica so badly she started a crowdfunding campaign to support her expedition — and has been finding ways to teach the next generation about everything from penguins to polar melting ever since.
In this episode, we sit down with Songqiao Yao, an environmental explorer and serial entrepreneur. Songqiao is the founder of WildBound, "a nature-inspired school situated in classroom earth and taught by teacher ecosystems.” Songqiao shares her own story of growing up yearning to explore the world’s environments, and how she is currently leveraging her background in environmental policy, geography and business strategy to instill that same drive for environmental protection in China’s youth. You can follow WildBound on WeChat @野声WildBound.
Note: WildBound is hiring for various positions! If you are interested and have relevant experience in environmental education, conservation, science, sustainable consulting and/or communication, get in touch! They are a growing team with presence all over the world, so you don’t even have to be based in China. Write to Songqiao or send your CV directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Oct 19, 2017|
Our guest for this episode is Cui Hongyang, Researcher in China team of International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), who joins us to discuss the rapid development of electric vehicles in China. Hongyang shares his insights on China's national and local policies and also domestic and international experience. He also discusses the problems we face in the promotion of electric vehicles.
|Oct 12, 2017|
Bamboo: the Green and Great Grass
To curb climate change, we need not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to actively suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. That's where bamboo comes in. It turns out that bamboo is more than a snack for pandas; it's also an excellent carbon straw, sequestering carbon better than almost any other plant in the world. And given that bamboo grows incredibly fast, and is both strong and light-weight, it also has thousands of potential commercial applications .
In this episode, we sit down with Charlotte King, a Communications Specialist at the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), to learn about the global efforts to scale up bamboo agriculture. Charlotte explains some of the biology behind this super grass. We also learn about other environmental applications of bamboo, including erosion control and a replacement for traditional firewood.
|Oct 05, 2017|
We're excited to bring you our first Chinese-language pilot episode: “The Role of Local Chinese NGOs in the Fight Against Climate Change."
Our guest for this episode is Ji Lin, the Executive Secretary at the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), who joins us to discuss China's emergent climate leadership in the aftermath of President Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement. We learn about the progress of China's South-South Cooperation Fund and about GEI's work to bring Chinese climate aid to Myanmar.
|Sep 28, 2017|
Carbon Exchanges: California & China
The California-China climate relationship has been thrust into the spotlight since Governor Jerry Brown of California visited China following President Trump’s Paris withdrawal announcement, and also recently extended the state's cap and trade program to 2030. This relationship could soon be taken to new heights as China prepares to launch the world’s largest carbon market next year and aims to learn from California's cap and trade experience.
We’re excited to invite Chris Busch, Research Director at Energy Innovation and head of the firm’s California policy program, onto our show to walk us through the basics of carbon markets, including California’s revamped carbon market and what China may be able to take away from California's experience thus far as China builds a carbon market of its own. You can read more from Chris in a recent editorial he published in China Daily on how carbon markets enable sustainable growth.
|Sep 21, 2017|
Low-Carbon, High Rise: China's Green City Future
Cities are microcosms of the world’s environmental issues. By 2030, one billion people are expected to be urban residents in China, and some three quarters of global emissions to come from cities. The issues impacting a urban sustainability are numerous: land use layout, public transit, and resource usage, to name a few. With over a hundred cities hosting a population of 1 million or more, China has to consider these issues on an unprecedented scale.
Our guest, Chenzi Yiyang, helps show us the path forward for how cities can become sustainable – by balancing development and environmental protection. Chenzi has worked on addressing urban issues with several international NGOs and development agencies. She tours us through what an ideal city would look like (spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist, yet). However, Chinese cities are making strong efforts to develop various eco-city and low-carbon city programs to create scalable solutions to urban sustainability issues. Chenzi breaks down this complicated problem and guides us through the key elements of greening Chinese cities.
|Sep 07, 2017|
Environment China is on summer break this week!
We will be back in two weeks' time, with our regular schedule of episodes and interviews with environmental professionals in China.
Plus, listen in this week for a special announcement about our soon-to-launch series of Chinese-language episodes!
In the meantime... we hope that you are enjoying your summer, too!
|Aug 24, 2017|
Counteracting Climate Change through Geoengineering
Our planet is warming; our ice caps and glaciers are melting. By pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the air, humankind is effectively tinkering with the atmosphere, putting ourselves on a path to dangerous levels of climate change. But what if we could tinker in the other direction, to keep global temperatures at safe levels?
To find out more about the so-called idea of geoengineering and China's related research efforts, we sit down with British expat John Moore, who is Chief Scientist heading China's leading research program on the topic housed at Beijing Normal University. You can read more on John's personal website (http://kaares.ulapland.fi/home/hkunta/jmoore/johnpage.htm), including a recent article he co-authored on whether China will be the first to initiate geoengineering, or by checking out this recent article in MIT Technology Review. John also recommends a recent editorial in Science, entitled, "How to govern geoengineering?".
|Aug 10, 2017|
Beneath the Surface: Soil Pollution and Environmental Journalism
Soil pollution is the least-discussed of China's “big three” pollution issues of air, water and soil, and also the last of the three to be directly addressed through government policy. Why are China’s soil pollution challenges so difficult to address, and what recent progress has been made? And what is it like to be a journalist trying to spur action by relaying this soil pollution story — and China’s other environmental stories — to the public?
We sit down with Lucy Hornby, a veteran China resident and Financial Times journalist, to discuss the intricacies of China’s soil pollution challenges and what it’s like to report on environmental issues in China. In addition to imparting her expertise on these topics, Lucy recommends that listeners take a look at Jonathan Franzen’s New Yorker piece, “Carbon capture: Has climate change made it harder for people to care about conservation?”, which suggests that to effectively deal with climate change we must think of it as part of a broader set of localized ecological issues.
|Jul 27, 2017|
The Public v. Pollution
Lawsuits. If you've seen the films Erin Brockovich or A Civil Action, you're probably familiar with the concept of environmental public interest litigation. In the U.S. and other countries, the birth of environmental laws barely preceded the advent of environmental NGOs, who began suing to make sure those laws were enforced. Because of differences in China's laws and legal system, though, public interest suits have traditionally played little role in environmental enforcement in China.
But this situation is starting to change: recent amendments to China's Environmental Protection Law grant standing to NGOs meeting certain qualifications to raise environmental public interest suits. We’re thrilled to have sat down with Ma Rongzhen, a public interest lawyer at China’s oldest grassroots environmental NGO, Friends of Nature, to discuss the progress and potential for public interest suits to play a greater role in protecting China’s environment. If you're interested in reading more, check out FON's website (Chinese), where you can subscribe to their regular e-newsletter updates on the latest progress for environmental public interest suits raised by FON.
|Jul 13, 2017|
China is the world's largest importer of soy, with more of that soy coming from Brazil than any other country in the world. But what does the journey of a soybean look like? And what is the environmental impact of this massive trade? Luckily, more is being done to transform soybeans into "green beans" than you might realize -- and China is playing a key role in these efforts.
Join us as we interview Isabel Nepstad, programme manager at Solidaridad, a Dutch NGO that promotes sustainable production and consumption of the world's commodities. Isabel's previous experiences working with environmental NGOs in both Brazil and China inform her current work advocating for China to green its massive share of the world's trade in soy and other commodities. You can learn more about Isabel's and Solidaridad's work by checking out the Sustainable Soy Trade Platform (http://sustainablesoytrade.org/) and Solidaridad's website (http://www.solidaridadnetwork.org/), or by following Solidaridad's public WeChat account (search "禾众可持续发展中心").
|Jun 29, 2017|
Citizen Science in China
In recent years, "citizen science" has spread across the globe, allowing people from all walks of life to contribute to scientific studies. For all-encompassing issues such as climate change, this approach has been instrumental in gathering new kinds of data from hard-to-access front lines.
Dr. Peng Kui, Program Manager at the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), has spearheaded a number of citizen science projects in China's Sanjiangyuan region in the west of the country, which hosts the headwaters of China's largest rivers. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Tyson, an expert on global citizen science initiatives at the Wilson Center, has been exploring citizen science initiatives in China and working with partners such as Peng Kui to help design innovative win-win projects wherein local people gather data on the health of these rivers and receive job training in sustainable industries.
On our show, Peng Kui and Elizabeth discuss the prospects for the nascent citizen science movement in China. You can find more on Peng Kui's work on the GEI website (http://new.geichina.org/en/about-us/gei-people-staff-steering-committee-etc/staff/pengkui/) and Elizabeth's work he(https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/elizabeth-tyson), or on the New Security Beat blog of the Wilson Center (https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/).
|Jun 15, 2017|
Green Power 3: Think Small
Just two decades ago, wind and solar only accounted for a fraction of our global energy supply. Now, thanks to the rapid expansion of large wind and solar plants, especially in places like China, the conversation has changed from "whether" we can power our global economy with renewable energy, to "how" and "when".
Joining us is Eric Martinot, founder of the REN21 Renewables Global Status Reports. Eric shares with us about his conviction that the key to a clean energy future will lie in "distributed energy resources" -- things like small scale rooftop solar, microgrids, heat storage, and electric vehicles that can store and sell electricity back to the grid at off-peak hours.
Eric is now based again in Beijing, to launch his Global Initiative for Distributed and Locale Energy (DALE). To learn more or get even get involved in Eric's new initiative, check out http://www.martinot.info/dale
|Jun 01, 2017|
Green Power 2: Power Sector Reform
The power grid. Most of us don't think too much about what's behind the switches and the wires and the circuits. Will the lights come on when you flip on a light switch at home or will you be left in the dark? Will those electrons come from a solar farm or from an aging coal power plant? Well, some among us do think a lot about these questions, and more: how can we make our power sector run more efficiently and cleanly? How can we reduce the carbon and pollution footprint of the power sector?
In the second episode in our Green Power mini-series, we chat with Christopher James, a Principal with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), about China's latest round of power sector reform. We learn why "regional balancing," "economic/green dispatch," and a shift in the utility business-model paradigm are key to decarbonizing China's power sector. Chris joins us with over 30 years' experience working on implementing environmental regulations, and has been in and out of China for over a decade helping to translate this experience into practical improvements in China's power sector management system. To learn more about RAP and Chris' work, check out the RAP website at raponline.org.
|May 18, 2017|
Green Power 1: China's Olympic Energy Ambitions
In the first episode of our Green Power mini-series, we travel to the winter wonderland of Zhangjiakou in 2022—the year the city, along with Beijing, will host the Winter Olympics. Alongside this ambition, Zhangjiakou has set strong targets for renewable energy growth to combat the air pollution dogging the region. However, the city has been beset with a problem facing China’s renewable energy rollout across the board: its wind and solar energy is being wasted because the power grid continues to favor the existing fossil fuel fired power plants over new sources.
We chat with Anders Hove, Associate Director of Research at the Paulson Institute in Beijing, to learn how Zhangjiakou can overcome this problem of “curtailment” through integration in the broader Jing-jin-ji region—sending its excess green electrons to power electric vehicles in neighboring Beijing, for example. The solutions he describes extend beyond the Zhangjiakou predicament to all of China. Listen to find out what it will take for China to fully utilize its unmatched renewable energy resources before the 2022 Olympics. You can find the the Paulson Institute’s report Going for Gold: Championing Renewable Integration in Jing-Jin-Ji on this topic here.
|May 04, 2017|
Nature Conservation: There's an App for That
Many people associate "nature conservation" and "China" with images of giant pandas leisurely munching bamboo or evasive snow leopards roaming the Tibetan Plateau. But to Shanshui Conservation Center, equally important is the concept of "eco-equality," which considers the role the local communities that coexist with wildlife.
In this episode, we chat with Irene Xiangying Shi about Shanshui's efforts to involve citizens in nature conservation efforts in China, most recently through Shanshui's citizen science website and app, Nature Watch (自然观察). Listen to how Shanshui is engaging with the public and leveraging existing networks, such as bird watching communities, to collect much-needed data that will contribute to future conservation efforts and help advocate for stronger conservation policies. To download the app, you can check out the Nature Watch website (http://chinanaturewatch.org), and also learn more about Shanshui Conservation Center on their website (http://www.shanshui.org) or through their WeChat account (SSbaohu).
|Apr 18, 2017|
Banking our Future on Green Finance
The financial system is the lifeblood of the global economy, channeling capital to businesses to fuel economic growth -- but this economic growth has often come at the expense of our environment and climate. "Green Finance," then, describes a financial system or a set of financial tools that will help to allocate resources towards a green and low-carbon economy. China has emerged as a key leader of green finance, establishing a high-level G20 green finance study group. But green finance can take on many different forms and involve a host of different actors. So what exactly is green finance, and what's been happening in and around China to promote sustainable investment?
In this episode, we invite Calvin Quek, Head of Sustainable Finance at Greenpeace East Asia, to share his perspectives on what's driving the buzz behind green bonds and green finance in China and what makes an investment a sustainable one. Be sure to keep an eye out for Greenpeace's upcoming work on green finance in the prelude to the One Belt, One Road summit in May of this year.
|Apr 06, 2017|
Air Pollution Solutions: An End to China's Smog?
China's smoggy skies dominate international headlines and threaten public health, spurring China's top policy-makers to declare a "war on pollution." But where does PM 2.5 pollution come from? And what pollution control solutions have actually been working?
|Mar 23, 2017|
"Sustaining the Future": Green Media for China's Millennials
Growing public awareness of environmental issues in China has prompted the rise of media outlets dedicated specifically to environmental topics. Among these, Kedao Media (可道), a new media platform, provides an outlet for Chinese youth to spur awareness and action among their peers on pressing environmental issues -- thus providing a pathway to "sustain the future" for the millennial generation.
We sit down with the president and founder of Kedao, Wu Yanyang, to discuss why he founded Kedao, how the platform became a reality, and how he gets Chinese millennials to care about things like carbon taxes and overseas wildlife protection. You can follow Kedao on WeChat at "kedaogreenpath" or online at www.kedao.info.
|Mar 09, 2017|
Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in China
Fossil fuel subsidies lower the price we pay for gasoline, heating, and other commodities, but they also incentivize greater consumption of coal and oil – which pollute the environment and threaten the global climate. A recent peer review of China’s fossil fuel subsides found that China spends over 13 billion USD a year on fossil fuel subsidies – and that may be a conservative estimate.
In this episode, we interview Liu Shuang, a Program Officer at Energy Foundation China, to learn about the progress China is making in reforming its fossil fuel subsidies, and about the work Energy Foundation is doing to help China develop more efficient and low-carbon economic policies.
Read more about fossil fuel subsidies in Liu Shuang's piece for chinadialogue here.
|Feb 23, 2017|
Bringing Sustainable Farming to the Table in Beijing
Health concerns from food safety scares have compelled some Beijingers to buy imported food. Erica Huang wants to buck that trend by making safe, sustainable food and other products accessible to urban residents of Beijing.
This episode features our conversation with Erica, the founder of Farm to Neighbors, a weekly market that brings together local farmers and other entrepreneurs to sell goods produced using sustainable and eco-friendly practices. We learn about the challenges of organic certification in China and about a wave of “new farmers” – young, educated entrepreneurs who want to ditch cities for farmland.
The Farm to Neighbors market operates on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grand Summit in Liangmaqiao. You can learn more about F2N by following their WeChat account: farm2neighbors.
We apologize that the audio quality is still not 100% perfect. The problem has since been fixed.
|Feb 09, 2017|
Sludge to Energy: A Forgotten Renewable?
"Renewable energy" typically conjures up images of rooftops decked out in solar panels or wind turbines twirling on a hillside. But there are also less “picturesque” forms of clean energy— including sludge, a byproduct of wastewater treatment. Did you know that an increasing number of U.S. cities are turning sewage into renewable low-carbon electricity? Maybe "poo power" has a future in China, too.
In this episode, we interview Jennifer Turner, director of the Wilson Center's China Environment Forum and manager of the Global Choke Point Initiative, as she relays stories of a "forgotten renewable" and how new applications such as wastewater sludge to energy may transform city systems in the USA and China. Jennifer also explains why we should pay more attention to the art of storytelling.
Find out more about the China Environment Forum here: https://www.
*We apologize for the sound quality in this pilot episode. We've identified the equipment problem, and subsequent episodes will not have this issue.
|Jan 26, 2017|
Water Risk in China: What are the Numbers?
Local pollution, climate change, and increasing demand all pose significant strains on the availability of clean and reliable water supplies for China's homes, farms, and industries. And all of this translates to real financial risks for companies and investors who rely on water resources in their assets.
In this episode, we interview Hubert Thieriot of China Water Risk about his work to improve valuation methodologies of water risks and his recent case study on ten listed companies in China, "Toward Water Risk Valuation in China."
Find more about China Water Risk here: http://chinawaterrisk.org/.
Download the report "Toward Water Risk Valuation in China" here: http://chinawaterrisk.org/notices/new-cwr-report-toward-water-risk-valuation/.
|Jan 13, 2017|
Hello and Welcome!
Tune in to learn about Environment China, a brand-new podcast from the Beijing Energy Network (BEN). We hope you'll join us in listening to our first series of podcasts as we chat with advocates, entrepreneurs, and experts in the environmental field in China and explore why now is the right time for real and positive change for China's environment.
See you next time -- smog or shine!
|Jan 09, 2017|