I Stood With Standing Rock Today

I woke up at 3:30 am today to start my trip into San Francisco to for an action to support the communities defending the Missouri River at Standing Rock, where the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens water and sacred land. I was thrilled to be part of this indigenous-led action by Idle No More Bay Area, … Read more

Kicking the Coal Habit Moves to the Mainstream in China

By: Deng Ping and Kristen McDonald Originally published in The Huffington Post What is one sure-fire way to reduce devastating pollution in China, decrease carbon emissions and stabilize the economy? Cool down the country’s overheated coal industry. And in fact, that’s exactly what energy and development regulators are trying to do. Let’s review some recent … Read more

The People Speak in Paris: Climate Art and Action

I grew up attending environmental and peace rallies with my family. So as the closed door negotiations of the Paris climate talks begin, I find myself particularly interested in how folks on the ground are creatively expressing the truth about what needs to happen in the talks. Mass gatherings in Paris aren’t allowed, but people … Read more

Coal Declines Worldwide – Even in China

“Worldwide, for every new coal plant built, two have been shelved or cancelled since 2010…. In China, coal use declined in 2014, signaling the start of a shift towards greater reliance on renewable energy. And, in the U.S., over 77,000 megawatts of coal energy have retired or are slated to retire.” This good news comes … Read more

Building a Cleaner China From the Grassroots Up

First published in China-US Focus In a mid-sized industrial city in China, a staff member of the environmental group Green Hope answers her cell phone. On the line is a middle manager at Pearl Steel Group who is calling to ask about a report Green Hope issued on air pollution from the company’s nearby flagship … Read more

Public Participation and Public Protest in China

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection recently reported that there was a 31% rise in mass environmental protests during 2013. The statistic highlights the growth of “NIMBY” (not in my backyard) environmentalism in China, and it comes as no surprise given already excessive pollution levels faced by communities across the country. To many, the prospect of … Read more

Grassroots Organizations Will Help China Move Away From Coal

First Published in the Huffington Post President Obama’s new carbon rule elicited a seemingly strong reaction from China: a pledge to institute a national carbon cap by 2016. But does China’s pledge have teeth? We argue yes, but only if grassroots organizations and citizens put increasing pressure on the government to reduce the country’s reliance on … Read more

Cleaner Energy for Cleaner Air in China

Air pollution is strongly linked to premature death in China. According to a study by the World Health Organization, it contributed to some 1.2 million deaths in 2010. The country’s top officials have pledged to declare a war on smog. Yet coal, the main culprit in this tragedy, still rules China’s energy sector. In March … Read more

Taking Polluters to Court in China: A New Tool Emerges

What do you do when all else fails to stop a polluter in China? Increasingly, local communities impacted by pollution are turning to the courts to settle disputes.  Pacific Environment helps local environmental groups support pollution victims in their communities, while also giving these local leaders the tools they need to participate in citizen enforcement … Read more

What’s Up With China’s Air?

I hear that a lot these days from my friends in the U.S., along with expressions of concern for my health whenever I travel to China. It is nice to get sympathy for the job hazards I face, but then I have to remind these folks that people in China live with life-threatening air pollution … Read more

China’s Water Watchdogs

First published in China Water Risk Mao Ge is a volunteer from the small city of Xiangtan, Hunan Province. He was contacted two years ago by our partner Green Hunan to join a network of river monitors who would get to know their stretch of the Xiang River, investigate pollution sources, and report on problems they … Read more

Coal: It’s What’s for Dinner

A while ago I stopped eating fish, in part because I worried that it might contain an unhealthy helping of mercury—a potent neurotoxin that can cause birth defects and brain damage. As it turns out, I had reason to worry: a new report on global mercury pollution by IPEN, an international organization that fights toxics, … Read more

Zhao Zhong, a TIME Hero of the Environment, Joins Our China Team

I’m so thrilled to welcome Zhao Zhong, a TIME Hero of the Environment, to our China team. Zhao Zhong is an experienced and incredibly well-respected and successful grassroots leader. He founded Green Camel Bell, the first environmental organization in Gansu province in northwestern China, in 2003. A nuclear engineer by trade, Zhao Zhong came to … Read more