Smog: It’s a China Thing

PM2.5 are fine particles of air pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers — small enough that they can pass through our body’s filters and enter our lungs and cells. In fact, PM2.5 pollutants can be touched, tasted, and obviously seen whenever you look out the window at a Shanghai skyline or a Beijing avenue. Smog and urbanization go hand-in-hand around the world, and China is certainly no exception.…

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China’s Priority is Smog, Not Carbon

For many living in China’s major cities, the start of the COP21 talks was a day of severe air pollution. Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang reached 611, 237 and 274 AQI respectively, prompting the issuing of the highest air quality alert of the year so far in the capital. In light of the climate talks, activists and deniers alike have voiced their opinions on the subject and fierce debate will…

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COP21 – The role of China

On November 30th the UN will kick off the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris. The goal of the summit is for 196 countries to meet and sign a new climate change agreement that will limit temperature rises to less than 2℃ above pre-industrial levels over the century. It is considered by many to be the “last chance”…

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Bloomberg New Energy Finance: The Future of Energy APAC Summit

In November, Bloomberg New Energy Finance held its first APAC Summit on the future of energy, covering three main themes: trade, technology, and the transition to a lower-carbon energy system. It was attended by industry, finance and policy thought-leaders, with Collective Responsibility having the opportunity to participate. Here are some of the insights from the first day: China’s new normal:…

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Sustainability’s Big Four Questions

As Beijing tallies the costs of the smog that inundated the city this week, economic and social, I thought I would highlight a recent lecture I gave that explored the "Big 4" questions that people are asking these days when wondering when action will be taken. How big is the problem faced? What is the timeline? Who is responsible? How much will it cost to fix? Meant to create a framework f…

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Empowering I.T. Departments to Create Responsible Systems

The morning while havinga  coffee with the CSR manager of a large retailer, he mentioned the fact that on a semi-frequent basis he would find himself going around the office shutting off computers.  After working hours. That while his firm, in his opinion, had done a good job of developing and communicating a framework for sustainabilty, there were still some (large) gaps. One of them being th…

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China’s Eco-Cities Need to Do More than Win Awards

Last month while being interviewed for the New York Times piece China's City of the Future Rises on a Wasteland, I was asked about the importance of China's eco-city planning... What should be the goal of an eco-city and why are they important to China? To me, this was perhaps one of the more important and interesting questions I have been asked on the topic, a topic I have been interviewed pr…

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Earth Hour Shanghai Pictures

About two hours ago, Shanghai;'s 2nd WWF Earth Hour ended, and I gotta say that while there were a few hold outs (HILTON HOTEL...), overall, WWF did a good job getting the cities building managers to participate this year. Here are some stripes of my view (from the south side of Huai Hai Road).  The East side is the Bund view, and the West Side is Portman to Zhongshan Park. East Side View (Cli…

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Deconstructing China’s Cleantech Charts

If you have been following China for any amount of time, then you will know that China is good for a chart that will shock and awe readers.  Few, if any, in the cleantech space have as much power as the one above, from the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP study China’s Promotion of the Renewable Electric Power Equipment Industry (download here), and why I chose to pull it out is twofold. First, just loo…

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Shanghai Municipal Incineration. Converting Trash to Energy

Fresh off several conferences and meetings where discussions centered around smart grid, wind power, and other renewable energies, yesterdays tour of the Shanghai Municipal Waste Facility proved to be a very interesting site visit.  Operational for 3 years now, this facility (one of two facilities in Shanghai) incinerates about 1500 tons of trash a day from 5 districts of Shangahi (Shanghai has…

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