Yu Lixiang asked me to meet him on a sunny afternoon in March on the banks of the Xiang River. He waited for me by a bridge where he was making a routine stop to test the water quality of the Xiang River, the main freshwater artery flowing through China’s eastern Hunan Province. The spot … Read more
With all of the negative attention Russia is receiving in the news lately, it’s easy to overlook the many inspiring people who are fighting for social and environmental justice in Russia. One such courageous activist is Suren Gazaryan, winner of a 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize for challenging government corruption and environmental degradation—at great personal risk. … Read more
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
First published in the Huffington Post On March 25, 2014, my Huffington Post blog, Will the U.S. Fund Russian Gas Exports?, reported on the U.S. Government’s consideration of funding for the enormous and environmentally harmful Yamal liquid natural gas (Yamal LNG) export project in the Russian Arctic. I questioned whether the U.S. government should subsidize … Read more
First published in the Huffington Post As the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine grows, Western governments are talking tough about sanctions against Russia. President Obama and the European Union have now leveled sanctions against Russian and Crimean political figures and a bank, but not yet against other companies. As Rachel Maddow points out, with these sanctions, … Read more
First published on Rivers without Boundaries On March 14, 2014, at public hearings in the town of Mogocha, located in Zabaikalsky Province in eastern Russia near the border of China, local people endorsed an ambitious plan to develop a nature reserve on 330,000 hectares. This protected area is being designed to safeguard the upper flow of … Read more
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
Today, the Directors of the U.S. Government’s largest trade promotion agency, the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), approved restrictions on financing for coal plants abroad. In doing so, the Ex-Im Bank became the first government export credit agency in the world to curb coal plant financing. But the restrictions include unnecessary exemptions. For example, in some … Read more
Zhao Zhong joined Pacific Environment’s China team one year ago. After a successful career at the helm of Green Camel Bell, a grassroots environmental group based in Gansu Province, Zhao Zhong was eager to help share his skills with other up-and coming grassroots leaders. As Pacific Environment expands to the air pollution and energy sphere … Read more
This summer was big for our efforts to halt public financing for fossil fuel projects. In June, President Obama launched a Climate Action Plan that calls for a partial ban on U.S. Government financing for coal plants abroad, except in limited circumstances. The ban includes U.S. taxpayer-backed financing for coal plants through federal agencies such as … Read more
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
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
Pacific Environment is proud to announce the winner of the 2013 Whitley Award – our own Eugene Simonov. The award is well deserved; it recognizes Eugene’s talent, years of hard work, dedication, and his tremendous impact on the environment in his community and beyond. Eugene joined Pacific Environment as the Conservation Science Specialist in February 2013 … Read more
On April 3, 2013, I met two girls playing outside their rural home in the Xigu District near Lanzhou, in Gansu Province, China. Like most kids, they were playful and full of laughter, but unlike most kids, these girls are only allowed to play outside for a limited time every day. I traveled to Xigu … Read more
At the orientation meeting for Pacific Environment’s new environmental law internship program in China this past weekend, I walked with a group of law students down a broad Qingdao street toward dinner. “Maybe we’ll come back to Qingdao to start our own environmental group when we graduate,” one of them said, and the rest … Read more
In China, where coal is king, Pacific Environment is harnessing the power of social media to show that the emperor is wearing some very dirty clothes. We just launched “The Problem with Coal,” a Chinese-language blog on Weibo.com, China’s hugely popular social networking site. It focuses exclusively on coal’s devastating impacts on people’s health and … Read more
Campaigners are calling for a fundamental overhaul of World Bank lending to financial markets actors, following the publication of an Ombudsman audit.
Mao Ge Uses the Power of Social Media to Fight Water Pollution in China. Mao Ge was walking along the Xiangtan River near his home of Xiangtan, Hunan Province, when he noticed thick red sewage streaming into the river from a nearby chemical plant. He quickly whipped out his cell phone and snapped a picture … Read more
Pacific Environment is pleased to announce that Caroline Cannon will receive the Goldman Environmental Prize this evening in San Francisco. We nominated Ms. Cannon for this prestigious award for her efforts to protect her Arctic homeland from offshore oil and gas development.
Pacific Environment’s “Save America’s Arctic Seas” campaign was honored with a Business Ethics Network’s 2011 BENNY Award, which recognizes some of the most brilliant corporate campaigns for their contributions to the advancement of corporate ethics.