June 19, 2014
Forest natural capital
The United Nations created the annual International Day of Forests in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forest and to promote their wise use. Like any other causes granted their own special day of the year, the world’s forests are cherished in principle but unappreciated in practice. In the case of forests, though, the lack of appreciation is quite literal. Despite the sophistication of financial and economic systems and models, there is as yet no universally accepted framework to recognize and value forests beyond their function as remote warehouses where logs are stored vertically.
May 28, 2014
Hong Kong red tide
In future, Hong Kong will not only face water challenges from a stretched resource in terms of quantity, but also from deteriorating quality. The latter issue is especially grim, since no matter from land or ocean, Hong Kong’s water sources may literally be inundated with all kinds of pollutions. “Across the country, China has a severe scarcity of safe drinking water”, noted a special report published on China Reform on Caixin Net (http://magazine.caixin.com/2014-03-31/100658681.html) (The Caixin special report). In 2010, amongst all seven major basins – including the Pearl River Basin – only 28.7 percent were found to have I-II water rating, which is considered safe for potable use.
May 21, 2014
Indian scooter family
Dyed-in-the-wool bikers are inclined to say: “Two wheels good and four wheels bad.” When it comes to air pollution, however, that’s not necessarily the case; especially so if you are talking about scooters. According to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, scooters can produce a lot more pollution than larger vehicles such as trucks. That’s a serious issue in Asia where the prevalence of scooters may contribute up to two thirds of the roadside air pollution in some cities, according to the research.
May 20, 2014
Hazardous World Cup merchandise
Football merchandise produced by Adidas, Nike and Puma ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been found to contain hazardous chemicals according to a new investigation by Greenpeace Germany. 33 items including boots, goalkeeper gloves and the official Brazuca ball were tested for a range of substances. Adidas’ iconic Predator football boots were found to contain very high levels of toxic PFC at 14 times the company’s own restriction limits.
May 19, 2014
Climate change impact on downtown Philippines
Climate change will be the second global mega-trend to affect sovereign credit risk through the rest of the century, says international credit rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P). Alongside the effects on societies of their ageing populations, the impact of climate change will put downward pressure on sovereign credit ratings, S&P said in a new report issued at the end of last week. In S&P’s climate change risk ranking, the 20 most vulnerable nations are all emerging markets, many of them in Asia-Pacific.

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Numerous studies indicate Asia is going to feel some of the most severe impacts from climate change, so what is business in the region doing about it? Not a lot it would seem but that may slowly be changing. Dr Glenn Frommer, head of corporate sustainability at Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the lead on adaptation best practice for the Business Environment Council's Climate Change Business Forum (CCBF), spoke to CleanBiz.Asia executive editor Fergus O'Rorke about the work the CCBF has been doing to get more focus put on the subject.

September 16, 2013

Featured News

China environmental law
May 02, 2014
Last week the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, approved major amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law (EPL), the first since the law was enacted 25 years ago. These amendments are a game changer. The original EPL entered into force shortly before I moved to Beijing in 1990. I recently found a journal entry written on my second day in the nation’s capital, in which I marveled at the clean air and lack of private cars on the street.
Anti-nuclear protests in Taipei
April 28, 2014
Just days after “reaffirming” his government’s to developing sustainable energy and the green economy, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is having to fend off strident protest over his energy policies. Protesters took to the streets of Taipei over the weekend to demand construction of Tawian’s Lungmen nuclear power plant be stopped because of earthquake concerns. On Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered near the Presidential Office Building, chanting “Stop Nuclear Plant No. 4, Return Power to the People.” Organizers said about 50,000 protesters participated while police estimated the crowd at 28,500 at its peak.
Agricultural irrigation on the North China Plain
April 25, 2014
Among the numerous challenges China faces in its quest to become a great power, the biggest perhaps is mounting water insecurity. China has 20 percent of the world’s population but only seven percent of the world’s fresh water. To make matters worse, the country’s scarce water resources are unevenly distributed between the south and north of the country. With rapid industrialization and urbanization, the demand for fresh water is increasing at a very fast rate. It is forecast that by 2030, China’s water demand will surpass 800 billion cubic metres. However, China’s supply is severely undermined by worsening water scarcity and pollution.
Ocean thermal energy conversion resources map
April 22, 2014
Southeast Asia’s island nations are especially well placed to benefit from technology that exploits a new potential source of energy from sea water: ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), experts have said. The technology uses sea water from the ocean depths to generate electricity, and various pilot projects are already under way in the developing world. For example, US aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin – a pioneer in the OTEC field – is working for China’s Reignwood Group to build a 10-MW pilot plant offshore from a new a “green resort community” that the company is developing on the coast of Southern China.
Deadly environment says Gloabl Witness
April 15, 2014
The Philippines has been ranked the most dangerous place for environmental activists in Asia, and third worldwide, by Global Witness. In a new report released today, the London-based NGO said there has been a sharp rise in sharp rise in killings related to environmental issue and land worldwide over the past 11 years.   According to a new report, Deadly Environment, environment and land protection led to the death of 67 in the Philippines, with two missing and presumed dead, between 2002 and 2013.
Total annual anthopogenic GHG emissions by groups of gases 1970-2010
April 14, 2014
After six years of intensive work reviewing all available science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its 2014 assessment on measures to mitigate climate change. Among its main findings is that the concentration of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) have grown more quickly during the last decade that in each of the previous three decades. The study, drawing on work by more than 1,000 experts, said a radical shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power would shave only about 0.06 of a percentage point a year off world economic growth.
Taj Mahal at sunset
April 11, 2014
Blessed with bountiful sunshine, particularly in the western states of Gujarat and Rajastan, India is slowly getting its solar power act together despite the many bureaucratic and financial impediments in the way of the industry. For the FY2013-14, which ended this March, the country added almost 950-MW of solar power capacity, bring its total 2.6-GW. Clearly this is not in the same league as Germany’s 36-GW, China’s 21-GW or Japan’s 10-GW of installed capacity. Nonetheless the result should give encouragement to whomever takes the reigns in India after the current general election, to meet and exceed the country’s solar power targets.
Cimulative CO2 emissions attributatble to top 10 fossil fuel companies
April 09, 2014
More than 70 companies worldwide – including some multinational giants such as Royal Dutch Shell, Adidas, Unilever – have released a communiqué urging governments to keep carbon emissions since the industrial revolution to a cumulative of 1 trillion tonnes. This is the emissions cap needed to keep warming below two degrees Celsius and avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which for the first time calls for a trillion tonne cap to avoid the most damaging consequences of climate change.
Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014
April 08, 2014
According to a new report – and not surprisingly – renewable energy’s share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year. 2013 was, however, the second year in a row that global investment in renewables fell, declining 14 percent to USD214.4 billion from 2012, which itself was 12 percent below the 2011 investment peak of USD279 billion. Given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent and very sobering report, that cumulative USD64.6 billion, 23 percent decline in annual investment is worrying.
Mekong River Commission Luang Prabang 2013
April 07, 2014
The 2nd Summit of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) – involving Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – wrapped up at the weekend with a strong political message from the four members on collaboration and their commitments to sustainable development in the Mekong basin. The Ho Chi Minh City Declaration highlighted achievements realized by MRC member countries since the First MRC Summit held in 2010 in Thailand, analyzed opportunities and challenges in the region, reaffirmed priority action areas and commitments as well as setting out MRC strategic orientations for the next period.