Environment | South China Morning Post
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Beijing air pollution soars off index as dust storm brews in west

Beijing is shrouded in smog on Thursday morning. Photo: Simon Song

Updated: Severe haze is expected to be compounded by a dust storm brewing in northern China, which has already affected parts of Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Hebei.

Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 11:51pm 4 comments

Eco-friendly Japanese demolition scheme slashes dust and noise

Now you see it, now you don't in Tokyo's Akasaka district. Photos: TAISEI CORPORATION/SEIBU PROPERTIES

Passers-by in Tokyo's busy Akasaka district have started to notice something odd about a 40-floor hotel - it has shrunk to about half its original height. Slowly but surely, and with none of the explosions or dust normally associated with the demolition of skyscrapers, the hotel is being torn down.

1 Mar 2013 - 12:12pm

Villager assaulted after challenging official to swim in polluted river

Online photo shows scratches and bruises on Chen Yuqian's face. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Pailian villager Chen Yuqian, 60, made the offer last Wednesday so the official could aware how polluted the river was. But instead, Chen Yuqian was roughed up by over 40 villagers on Sunday morning, his daughter Chen Xiufang revealed on microblog Sina Weibo.

26 Feb 2013 - 5:25pm

Report on mainland China's soil pollution a 'state secret'

Planting trees near a lead smelter in Anhui. Photo: Reuters

The top environmental watchdog has rejected a request to publish findings of a high-profile national survey on soil pollution, citing "state secrecy". The top environmental watchdog has rejected a request to publish findings of a high-profile national survey on soil pollution, citing "state secrecy".

26 Feb 2013 - 10:24am 10 comments

Beijing air quality plummets after Lantern Festival fireworks

The air quality in Beijing deteriorated on Sunday after fireworks were set off for Lantern Festival. Photo: EPA

Heavy smog blanketed most areas in Beijing and air pollution readings surged after enthusiastic residents set off fireworks to celebrate the annual Lantern Festival, Xinhua reported on Monday.

25 Feb 2013 - 12:23pm

Big trees may be root of problems at Hysan Place

The original trees outside Hysan Place. Behind them is the Apple store being built last year. Photo: SCMP

Tree specialists warned yesterday the seven chukrasia tabularis, or Burmese almond wood, earmarked for Kai Chiu Road may be too large and unsightly for the congested street, and might grow sprawling roots that could push up the pavement.

25 Feb 2013 - 10:16am

Palms are best but they are 'too dull'

Ken So Kwok-yin. Photo: Edmond So

There should be a balance between aesthetics and functionality when choosing trees for streets and roads in the city, tree specialists say.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am

Works chief Edwin Tong calls WWF Hong Kong criticism biased

Edwin Tong Ka-hung, head of the Civil Engineering Office, criticised some outside analysis of the results of the engagement exercise as biased. Tong was responding to earlier accusations by WWF Hong Kong, which said it was dissatisfied with how the results were released and presented. 

25 Feb 2013 - 5:27am

Eco tours show visitors the natural hot spots of Hong Kong

Eco-tour guides are ready to take Hongkongers around some special nature spots. Photo: Edward Wong

It is one of eight eco-tours on Hong Kong and Lamma islands from which nature lovers can now choose in order to explore some of the city's rarest wildlife and most spectacular scenery.

24 Feb 2013 - 5:02am

Pollution in China affects more than 50pc of underground water

Rubbish clogs up a polluted canal on the edge of Beijing. Photo: AFP

China Central Television reported that 55 per cent of the underground water of Chinese cities is rated level four or five on Thursday, quoting a study by the Ministry of Land and Resources.

22 Feb 2013 - 7:50pm

Beijing unveils blueprint to control health risks of toxic chemicals

The blueprint admitted excessive levels of chemical pollutants were already found in the mainland's rivers and lakes. Photo: Reuters

The blueprint, covering the period from 2011 to 2015 and posted on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, admits that excessive levels of chemical pollutants are already found in the country's major rivers and lakes, and even in animal and human bodies.

22 Feb 2013 - 6:01am

Environmental watchdog admits to 'cancer village' phenomenon

A dead fish floating in water filled with blue-green algae at the East Lake in Wuhan. Photo: Reuters

The Ministry of Environmental Protection published a list of so-called cancer villages on the mainland which included five in Jiangsu, three in Henan and at least one in Taiwan.

21 Feb 2013 - 7:02pm

Chinese officials launch 'green' ad to fight back against swimming challenge

A screen grab of the advertisement. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Haunted by media attention after local officials were challenged to swim in polluted rivers, Wenzhou authorities fought back with a 140,000 yuan advertisement campaign boasting of their environmental protection record, Beijing Times reported on Thursday.

21 Feb 2013 - 12:57pm 1 comment

Polluters given deadline to clean up emissions

Cement plants are among the polluting industries that will have to meet Beijing's emission limits to gain environmental approval. Photo: AP

From March 1, new coal-fired power plants and steel mills will have to meet "special limits" on emissions to gain approval from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the ministry's China Environment News said in an online report. It did not give details.

21 Feb 2013 - 6:07am

Arctic ice loss highlights climate risk, says UN body

Last year's record shrinkage of Arctic sea ice highlight the risk to the planet from climate change. Photo: AFP

Last year's record shrinkage of Arctic sea ice and a spell of catastrophic droughts, floods and storms highlight the risk to the planet from climate change, the UN Environment Programme (Unep) said in an annual review of the world's environment coinciding with ministerial-level talks in Nairobi.

19 Feb 2013 - 3:43am