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 Real Heroes of Paris

About two months ago, I ran into an old neighbor—I’ll call him Jim—and he got really excited when he heard I was going to Paris. He was following the news about the upcoming Climate Summit, and he was worried. He feared nothing would get done, that the world’s leaders would dither and argue and not … 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

“Monsieur, there’s coal in my popcorn!”

Today is the first day of the U.N. climate change conference. Thousands of people are coming to Paris to be heard. The metro is free today, streets are crowded. With 180 countries participating in the negotiations, everyone seems hopeful that this climate summit will be the one where an agreement on a global reduction of … Read more

Will Human Rights Prevail Again in Paris?

Arriving in Paris amid intensive security, over 40,000 people are anticipated to attend the international climate summit this week and next. The attendees include 10,000 delegates from 195 countries, in addition to thousands of journalists, NGOs, scientists, and activists. This will be the biggest diplomatic event to be held in France since the United Nations … 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

It’s Time to End the Age of Coal

We’re excited to announce the launch today of endcoal.org, a user-friendly website that provides information and resources about the dangers of coal and the solutions to meeting global energy needs. Endcoal.org is a place where the global movement to stop coal can share its stories, resources, and news, and where people new to coal can … 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

Pacific Environment Welcomes Sun Qingwei as China Climate Coordinator

China has recently been generating a tremendous amount of news because of its pressing need to decrease air pollution and build a clean energy future. This is a heavy undertaking, as China is the world’s leading producer and consumer of coal.  To help reduce coal pollution in China, Pacific Environment just hired Sun Qingwei, who … 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

U.S. Government Finance Agency Curbs Coal Support

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

How to Build a Grassroots Climate Change Movement in China

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

Halting U.S. Financing for Coal Abroad

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

Among Coal’s Toxic Emissions

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

Harnessing Social Media to Challenge Coal in China

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

The World’s Top 3 Climate Change Threats

Do you know what China, Australia, and the Arctic have in common? Apart from stunning scenery, it turns out that each is home to one of the 3 biggest threats to our global climate. Here governments and fossil fuel companies are pushing massive, carbon-intensive coal, oil, and gas projects that would cause climate disaster if … 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

Save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from the U.S. Government

Did you know that the U.S. government is slated to finance a massive dirty fossil fuel project that will damage Australia’s world-famous Great Barrier Reef—home to sea turtles, dugongs, and many other protected marine species? I think this is outrageous, and that’s why Pacific Environment and our partners have filed a lawsuit to challenge a … Read more