China

World’s largest amphibian heading for extinction

Catherine Harte
| 4th June 2018
Overharvesting for the luxury food market is pushing the iconic Chinese giant salamander to the brink. The future of the world’s largest amphibian is in serious jeopardy unless coordinated conservation measures are put in place. CATHERINE HARTE reports

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The Bambas mine

Academic research confirms - more mining leads to more fighting

Mario Pérez-Rincón
Nick Meynen
| 9th January 2018
A recent academic study examined the data relating to growth in mining exports and the growth in environmental conflicts across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The correlation is almost perfect. MARIO PEREZ-RINCON and NICK MEYNEN examine how 'victims' of such conflict can become environmental ‘warriors’.

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SPECIAL REPORT: China has a plan - Peak Coal and the new Silk Road

Federico Demaria
Joan Martinez Alier
| 25th July 2017
China's coal extraction and consumption peaked years ago and much sooner than anticipated. But the Silk Belt and Road Initiative – a massive foreign investments plan – seems to outsource China's emissions. Just like we in the West did, when we moved production to China. Ecological economists, FEDERICO DEMARIA and JOAN MARTINEZ ALIER report

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Skyscrape of Dubai, seen from the beach. Photo: ZeNahla via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Concrete, or beaches? World's sand running out as global construction booms

Nick Meynen
| 9th May 2017
A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry, writes Nick Meynen. China alone is importing a billion tonnes of sand a year, and its increasing scarcity is leading to large scale illegal mining and deadly conflicts. With ever more sand fetched from riverbeds, shorelines and sandbanks, roads and bridges are being undermined and beaches eroded. And the world's sand wars are only set to worsen.

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Chinese-built road under construction through rainforest in Mouloundou Department, Ogooue-Lolo, Gabon. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The dark legacy of China's drive for global resources

William Laurance
| 11th April 2017
As China pursues a startling array of energy, mining, logging, agricultural, transport and other infrastructure projects on virtually every continent, it is having an unprecedented impact on the planet, writes William Laurance. It's not that China is any worse than historic colonial powers - the difference is in the sheer scale and pace of environmental destruction, and the total lack of oversight under which Chinese mega-corporations operate.

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Vaquita caught in a gillnet. Photo: Cristian Faezi & Omar Vidal via IUCN.

Vaquita going extinct as Mexico, China, dither

Aron White
EIA
| 6th February 2017
The world's smallest porpoise is fast heading to extinction, writes Aron White thanks to Mexico's failure to ban the use of gillnets in its range, and China's illegal imports of totoaba fish swim bladders, used in Chinese medicine. Without urgent and effective action the vaquita will soon disappear for good.

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Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided.

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud
University of Oxford
| 31st January 2017
Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers.

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Endangered by the illegal trade in rhino horn, much of which is exported to China in a trade largely operated by Chinese citizens: White Rhino at Okaukuejo, Oshikoto, Namibia. Photo: Paolo Lucciola via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

China must take responsibility for its citizens' wildlife crimes in Africa

Namibian Chamber of Environment
| 6th January 2017
Chinese citizens are responsible for much of the wildlife crime taking place in Namibia, inflicting immense damage to the country's environment, and undermining community based conservation, writes the Namibian Chamber of Environment in this Open Letter to China's Ambassador Xin Shunkang. China must act to stop its citizens' criminal activities, and invest in making good the damage caused.

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Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett
| 3rd January 2017
As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low.

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China is already the world's leading manufacturer and installer of solar PV. Installation of solar panels on the Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai, China. Photo: Jiri Rezac / The Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Letter from Marrakesh: is China the world's new climate leader?

Natalie Bennett
| 15th November 2016
With European climate policy in post-Brexit lockdown, and US delegates gripped by uncertainty (even for their own jobs) following Trump's election, a new global climate leader is emerging, writes Natalie Bennett. China is stepping up as the country with the finance, technology and industrial might to take forward the Paris Agreement - and for its companies to reap the benefits.

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How's it worth more? Alive or dead? African bush elephant. Photo: Arno Meintjes via Fliuckr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saving the elephant: don't forget local communities!

Ross Harvey
Alexander Rhodes
| 10th October 2016
With 27,000 African savannah elephants a year illegally killed for their ivory, the species is in peril, write Ross Harvey & Alexander Rhodes. Now international action at CITES and the closure of domestic ivory markets are attacking the ivory trade at both ends. But we must also give our full support to 'elephant neighbor' communities.

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Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green
| 6th October 2016
'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart?

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