Over 100 Golf Courses Closing in China

golf
I make games for a living and I love seeing people have fun – but I really don’t like golf courses. Golf takes up a lot of land and consumes an inordinate amount of water for the amount of entertainment it provides. Essentially, I agree that golf ruins a perfectly good walk.

In China the environmental (and social) costs of golf courses have reached record heights. As a result, over 100 golf courses are being closed by the Chinese government. Ironically, these golf courses were classified as parks and were built since China banned the development of new golf courses in 2004.

China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses in an effort to conserve water and land, and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday the courses were closed for improperly using groundwater, arable land or protected land within nature reserves. It said authorities have imposed restrictions on 65 more courses.

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Thanks to Delaney!

China is Getting Serious about Climate Change


China rightfully gets a lot of flak for its environmental policies; they are listening and acting on received criticism. Previously we noted that China started to close coal plants and that there is increased concern about climate change in the country. Over at Grist magazine they have catalogued seven ways which show China’s efforts in greening itself. Every little bit helps and at the scale of China’s economy little things go a long way.

— Cleaning up cars and trucks. China is the largest car market in the world. Cutting pollution from automobiles, like cutting pollution from coal plants, is essential not just to reducing CO2 emissions but to clearing the air in cities: The government estimates that roughly one-third of Beijing’s epic smog is from automobiles. China is pulling old, inefficient cars off the road, providing incentives for buying hybrids and electric cars, and enforcing stricter fuel-efficiency standards for new cars.

— Making buildings more energy efficient. Two years ago, China started issuing requirements for buildings to be given energy-efficiency upgrades. The energy savings are just beginning to be felt, but given that buildings can last for decades or even centuries, there could be a long payoff period.

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China Aims to Decrease Meat Consumption by 50%

Consuming meat as part of your diet increases your carbon footprint by a large factor. It take a lot more energy to produce meat than it does to produce plants. Indeed, many institutions have called for people around the world to consume less meat while increasing their fruits and veggies intake.

China has issued new dietary guidelines that encourage less meat consumption in hopes that it frees up resources (land, energy, etc.) for other means. Given the size of China’s population even a small percentage of Chinese changing their diets will make a difference.

New dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.

Should the new guidelines be followed, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from China’s livestock industry would be reduced by 1bn tonnes by 2030, from a projected 1.8bn tonnes in that year.

Globally, 14.5% of planet-warming emissions emanate from the keeping and eating of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals – more than the emissions from the entire transport sector. Livestock emit methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, while land clearing and fertilizers release large quantities of carbon.

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China to Close 1,000 Coal Plants

China was building coal power plants at an alarming rate over the last couple of decades and the repercussions of that policy have been felt. Pollution throughout the country kills thousands and has gotten so bad at times that parts of the country essentially close. Coal is largely to blame.

The pollution released by those plants is massive compared to alternatives like natural gas (still gross) and renewables (the best!). Indeed, China is cashing in on the global trend towards renewable energy by increasing their domestic production of wind turbines and solar voltaic plants. Finally they will benefit from this internally by closing 1,000 coal plants and replacing it with alternatives.

Thanks to this effort from China we will breath a little better in the years to come.

The news was confirmed on Monday by China’s National Energy Administration, and first reported by Xinhua, the state-run outlet, after detailed plans to slash coal consumption were issued earlier this month by the country’s powerful executive body, the State Council. The move will accelerate China’s well-documented shift away from coal.

The news comes as a Chinese firm topped a reputable global ranking for wind energy production for the first time, besting US giant General Electric. Chinese companies already lead the world in solar energy production.

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Thanks to Delaney!

China Cancelling Debt of Developing World

China has announced that it will provide debt relief to the developing world. President Xi Jinping made the announcement at the UN and anticipates the fund to help the developing world will eventually reach $15 billion. presently the fund is set at $2 billion and will have a positive effect on the poorer nations.

“Looking around the world, the peace and development remain the two major themes of the times,” the Chinese leader said at the summit in New York.
“To solve various global challenges, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe, the fundamental solutions lie in seeking peace and realising development.
“Facing with various challenges and difficulties, we must keep hold of the key of the development. Only the development can eliminate the causes of the conflicts,” Mr Xi said.
His pledges of aid give a big boost to the launch of the UN’s new Global Goals for Sustainable Development – the day after all members states committed themselves to a hugely ambitious programme, the BBC’s James Robbins in New York reports.

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