Weekly Round Up: PM2.5 Targets, China’s Middle Class and Peak Coal

With so much going on in the realm of sustainability, leadership, and innovation, and only a limited amount of bandwidth for professionals in this space, we have created this weekly post to highlight articles that we feel are (1) important, (2) relevant, and (3) interesting in the areas of business sustainability. If you have an article that you feel needs to be mentioned, please do so in the comments section.

New environmental guidelines shift focus, add two more air pollution targets

In his address to China’s National People’s Congress on March 5, Premier Li Keqiang cited targets to limit factory emissions of PM2.5 down by 25% as part of the forthcoming 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP). This is the first time in China’s history that a specific PM2.5 target is included in a FYP.

New data suggests coal use in China may have peaked

While still China’s main source of energy, coal consumption fell for the second consecutive year according to CNBS, raising hopes that China has already hit “peak coal”. However, some fear that the economic slowdown could increase pressure on government to boost energy-intensive industries.

Here’s What China’s Middle Classes Really Earn — and Spend

China has developed to become the world’s second biggest economy and with it has come the growth of the middle class, these citizens are armed with greater aspirations and spending power than any previous generations in the country. As China looks to move from an investment led economy to one of consumption it is this sector of the population that will be vital to continue growth.

The end of the Chinese miracle

The make up of China’s economy is changing, no longer does it have the cheap and willing labour force to support its manufacturing industry. In this short film the end of this era is investigated and looks at how the world’s largest manufacturer has reach a critical point in its social and economic development.

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