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Old 02-23-2014, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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In an astonishing shift, the leadership of China has declared that the country will turn away from GDP growth-at-all-costs, to a focus on quality, and restoring environmental health to the country. Concrete signs they are being taken seriously have begun to surface in the news, such as this:

Quote:
In June 2013, China's State Council approved a $277 billion, five-year, anti-pollution plan -- the biggest ever anywhere. A ban was placed on new coal-fired power plants in China's three key cities -- Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou -- and tighter pollution regulations were put on 10 additional areas. In an effort to seek less polluting energy sources, more than half of China's new energy capacity in 2013 came from renewable energy.
7 Environment and Development Stories to Watch in 2014*|*Dr. Andrew Steer
Recently, as the top level month of annual planning sessions for the country concluded, even stronger indications have surfaced that this is more than just talk, such as lowered GDP targets for most provinces. Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly made public statements about the country's change in direction, and now Qin Guangrong, The Communist Party Secretary of Yunnan Province, has issued... obviously with full leadership support... an amazing document, detailing the strategic plan for his province, and by implication, for the country.

This is just a small excerpt, which I edited for brevity. I urge you to read the entire document by following the link. Can you imagine the US government making this kind of commitment? :

Quote:
General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that embracing a new era of environmental protection is an important part of realizing the renewal of the Chinese nation.

These decisions embody the new value and development concept of respecting the nature and seeking harmony, elevating the relationship between man and nature to a new level. They mark our grasp of the concept of a higher form of development.

It is the responsibility for regional officials such as myself to fully implement the decision of the central government on ecological improvement.
.....
In recent years, we have been striving to foster the following six concepts in Yunnan:

- First, the environment is the base of our development and it always comes the first. Environmental considerations carry veto power in the formulation of major decisions as well as regional development and project construction.

- Second, the environment is an important productive force and protecting and improving the environment is in essence protecting and improving our productive forces.

- Third, we should seek maximum economic and social returns at the minimum expense of the environment and try our best to cut down resource consumption and environmental damage to maximize our socioeconomic output, bringing sustainability to our environment and finite resources.

- Fourth, our development should come with environmental protection and environmental protection will also lead to development. Development is the most important job but environmental protection is the precondition, and we have to strike a right balance between resource development and environmental protection.

- Fifth, we would rather reduce our growth rate a bit in order to protect the environment and never seek short-term economic development at the expense of the environment. We should never pursue a "pollution first, treatment later" approach and we need to blaze a new development path featuring growth, prosperity and good environment.

- Sixth, we should use a myriad of ways to protect the environment and fully institutionalize our work in this regard.

Chinese Shift: Put the Environment Above GDP Growth*|*Qin Guangrong
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Here's a report on the news from the planning meeting, with a slightly critical evaluation, from a Chinese news source in Taiwan.

Quote:
GDP targets down in China with shift to 'quality' growth focus

China's shift from a GDP growth model to "quality" growth should become more obvious soon, as two thirds of provinces have lowered their growth targets this year, if only very slightly.

Annual provincial legislative sessions were held between January and mid-February and so far, 22 provinces, including Beijing and Shanghai, have reined in their growth targets.

Seven others, including Guangdong, aspire to the same growth as last year. Only Hainan in the deep south and Heilongjiang in the far north have set targets higher than 2013. Beijing and Shanghai are both aiming for 7.5%, the lowest at the provincial level, compared with their 7.7% rate last year. The southwestern province of Guizhou is still hoping for 12.5%, the highest. With an economic volume of only 800 billion yuan (US$131 billion) last year, inland Guizhou is among the few provinces whose GDP volume is less than one trillion yuan (US$164.5 billion). With expected growth of 8.5%, manufacturing hub Guangdong's economic volume exceeded 6 trillion yuan (US$986 billion) in 2013, the most of any province. <more>...

GDP targets down in China with shift to 'quality' growth focus
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:19 AM
 
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They are realizing that they want to live long enough to spend all of the money we have spent on chinese goods.

IIRC, don't they have a lot of vehicle pollution too. They should also start reigning that in as well.

(Sarcasm: On) They need fleets of the new diesel trucks running around. The air comes out cleaner than when it went in because of all the filtering and exhaust treatments.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
IIRC, don't they have a lot of vehicle pollution too. They should also start reigning that in as well.
Funny you should mention that...

Quote:
BEIJING (AP) — China's environment ministry said Sunday that it had sent inspectors to Beijing and other areas of the country to inspect polluting industries and check construction sites amid a spell of severe air pollution.
.....
Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, on Sunday ordered 20 percent of private vehicles off the roads in urban areas based license plate numbers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China Dispatches Pollution Inspectors Amid Bad Air
And in other news...

Quote:
Tesla China chief unveils aggressive growth plan for China

(Reuters) - U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) expects its China sales to contribute one third of global sales growth this year, a senior executive said, adding that a trademark issue stalling full-entry into China had been resolved.

Veronica Wu, vice president of Tesla's China operations, told Reuters the Palo Alto, California-based company planned to open stores in 10-12 Chinese cities by the end of 2014, including its flagship store in Beijing that opened late last year. Wu, the 43-year-old executive who jumped ship to Tesla from Apple's China unit at the end of last year, said Tesla China had a "very aggressive growth objective". She said the unit was aiming to contribute "30 to 35 percent" of Tesla's overall global sales growth targeted for 2014.
.....
Tesla said on Thursday that a version of the Tesla Model S, a sleek all-electric battery car which sells for $81,070 in the United States, would retail for 734,000 yuan ($121,300) in China after shipping costs and import duty and other taxes. The company was referring to a Model S with an 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The Beijing-born executive, who worked for Apple's China unit in Beijing from 2006 until she joined Tesla in December, said that given the Tesla car's "quality," the Model S offered "great value".
.....
She said Tesla had also resolved a trademark issue that had long prevented the company from using "Te Si La" - the Chinese name best known among Chinese consumers, which Tesla wanted to use in China.

"We went to court and we won," she said. "The court has given use right to use the name, which is why you see the Chinese name in our store now."

Tesla China chief unveils aggressive growth plan for China | Reuters
The significance of the price for China sales is that it represents a far lower premium over the American price than most quality cars exact there.

Quote:
"If we were to follow standard industry practice, we could get away with charging twice as much for the Model S in China as we do in the United States. But we're doing things differently," Tesla said in the blog on January 22, posted to consumers through popular Chinese social media channels.
.....
Car makers often charge steep mark-ups in China. Daimler high-end Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG model costs 3.1 million yuan ($509,000) in China, according to its local website, 150 percent above its starting price in the United States. Volkswagen's Audi TT Coupe costs 519,000 yuan ($85,800) in China, over twice the U.S. starting price.

Carmaker Tesla wins China fans with 'fair' price strategy
As a result of strong demand for its cars, Tesla expects to sell as many Te Si La cars in China as it sells Tesla cars in the US next year.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:09 PM
 
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He he... I guess I hit the nail on the head and didn't even know it.

I hope Tesla can hurry and ramp up production. I have a feeling they could sell about as many as they could build.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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Ultimately China needs to do something and the they need to do it sooner than later as they will burn through their domestic supply of coal over the next 3 or 4 decades. A great deal of that pollution is from residential and commercial heating and I'm not sure how you keep more than 1 billion people warm if your only major resource is low quality coal. You could see the same issues in many European cities like London in the 50's and 60's.

This was non issue for the most part here in the US because anthracite was used for heating all over the eastern part of the country. Before someone brings up Pittsburgh keep in mind that's the result of soft coal being used in the steel mills.

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:50 PM
 
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The Chinese have put numerous feel-good laws in place over the past 20 years...

Just look at how they have decreased the pollution in Beijing after creating many anti-pollution laws (picture taken Feb. 22, 2014):



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Old 02-23-2014, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
The Chinese have put numerous feel-good laws in place over the past 20 years...
Of course it remains to be seen how this will play out of the coming years, but to me this doesn't seem to be just more of the same. They've actually taken an axe to the GDP targets they were expecting to approve at the last planning session. And the commitments and principles they are publishing are more progressive and more public than anything we've come up with. If they carry through with all this, they could become the ecological role models for the world.

Quote:
Just look at how they have decreased the pollution in Beijing after creating many anti-pollution laws (picture taken Feb. 22, 2014):
One of the factors that seems to be driving these initiatives is precisely the fact that their air pollution is so bad, and that the whole rest of the world can see it. It finally got their attention.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Ultimately China needs to do something and the they need to do it sooner than later as they will burn through their domestic supply of coal over the next 3 or 4 decades.
That's why their commitment to a wholesale shift to renewable energy sources is such a remarkable development.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
That's why their commitment to a wholesale shift to renewable energy sources is such a remarkable development.
I don't see it as a remarkable development, the Chinese and most other nations have a gun to their head where fossil fuel reserves are concerned. There is only a few nations that can truly burn fossil fuels into the near future using domestic supplies. It's a very short list and includes the US, Russia and Australia, that's about 45% of the world's supply of coal right there. China controls about another 13% but they using huge quantities of it, it's about 5X what we use. They have a very short time frame to come up with something.
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