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China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions

SHANGHAI — China is the world’s No. 1 polluter. It burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. It produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused global warming gases, nearly as much as North America and Europe put together. On Tuesday, the country set out to claim another title reflecting its…

When Pollution Threatens the Health of the Baby on the Way

Expectant mothers as well as women trying to get pregnant, and their partners, already have a lot to think about. Experts recommend doing everything possible to be in optimal health, from exercising to eating right, as well taking a folic acid supplement to reduce the risk for birth defects like spina bifida. But one widespread threat to the health…


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China draws up new ‘special’ emission curbs on industries

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) – China will impose “special emissions restrictions” on enterprises in major industrial sectors in northern China later this year, as it bids to ensure its war on pollution continues once a tough winter anti-smog campaign ends in March. To meet politically crucial air quality targets last year, China forced 28 cities in northern…

Asian air pollution strengthens Pacific storms

Air pollution in China and other Asian countries is having far-reaching impacts on weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, a study suggests. Researchers have found that pollutants are strengthening storms above the Pacific Ocean, which feeds into weather systems in other parts of the world. The effect was most pronounced during the winter. The study…

China’s carbon market needs ambition

To pressure polluters, the new trading system must avoid being too generous with permits, writes Huw Slater The National Development and Reform Commission held an important teleconference on December 19 with provincial governments in which it shared the framework of the national emissions trading system (ETS). (For some background on what China’s carbon market is and…

Air pollutant emissions declining, but still above limits

Emissions of most air pollutants decreased in 2013, confirming the long-term downward trend in Europe since 1990. But many countries are still exceeding internationally-agreed pollutant limits, set to protect human health and the environment, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The annual European Union emission inventory report 1990-2013 under the UNECE…

Three-year cut to life expectancy from coal heating

Each year, the winter chill creates a rift between China’s north and south based on radically different policies when it comes to heating, and with consequences for air pollution and life expectancy. In the 1950s, premier Zhou Enlai drew a line across the country following the River Huai and the Qinling mountains. North of the…

India becoming biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide

While the world has been preoccupied with reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is generated by burning fossil fuels, sulphur dioxide (SO₂) emissions have not received the same attention. Produced by burning coal, wood, petrol, diesel or farm stubble, SO₂ forms a large part of the pollution haze enveloping cities in northern India every…

China could peak carbon emissions in 2023

Greater energy efficiency could help China peak carbon faster than expected, new research argues China has an opportunity to peak its carbon emissions as soon as 2023, according to a recent research paper in the environmental science journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling. China accounts for one quarter of global CO2 emissions, so the timing of the country’s carbon peak…