Recently there have been some discussion on China’s rapid development, industrialization, increased pollution and destruction of environment such as deforestation. Not being knowledgeable or ever being interested in the subject, I decided to look for answer to the question – Is China recklessly polluting the planet?
The answer seems to be no. China seems to be aware of its rising role in global emisson and pollution, scale of its impact, and has implemented emission reduction measures such as carbon trading in accordance to Kyoto Protocol (which it signed in 1997.) On the issue of deforestation, China seems to have, as with other countries, gone thru the same cycle of exploitation and subsequent rebalancing of environment, thru forestation, reforestation, managed forestry and other sustainable practices.
Following article is from SW Securities on China’s sustainable forestry and biomass investment, which also touched briefly on China’s history in green development. Not being an expert on the subject, I introduce this article for critical examination:
SW Securities: Forestation, Reforestation, And Biomass Energy Investment Strategy For Second Half Of 2009
China Marketweb News
On 9/23 SW Securities published a report on forestation, reforestation, and biomass energy, for 2nd half of 2009. According to the report, low-carbon economy is promoting naturally lowered emission:
Among the nations, US and China have the largest trade difference, as well as highest carbon emission. The IEA projects China will become the largest CO2 emitter in the world in 2010. Accelerating trade difference will also increase cost of emission globally. Climate change will cause greater agricultural loss than industrial loss, as Peterson Institute for International Economics and Center for Global Development both place China’s emission reduction benefit at 7% of GDP. As effects of climate change moderates, China will become more interested in lowering emission.
Naturally reducing emission is key in future of lower carbon emission. Controlling green house gases by improving biological system is the preferred method for its sustainability and superior results. This mainly includes reducing deforestation, forestation, reforestation, composting and other agricultural practices.
Forests are key part of land-based ecosystems, mainly taking advantage of the sun’s energy. SWS found cost of lowering emission via forestation is less than industrial methods, with tremendous hidden potential.
Percentage of forest land in China was 8.6% in 1949, and currently at 18.21%. Old growth forest is about 12,456 million square meter, with managed growth forest at 13,618 million square meter, and 53 million hectare of man-made forest representing 53.2% of global increase in man-made forest. Cumulative CO2 absorption between 1980-2005 is about 4,680 million ton, and 43 million ton from controlling deforestation.
Clean development will promote greater forest industry in China, while obstacle is mainly rights to forest land, profits, and transfer of rights. Additional profit and subsidy derived from forest carbon sink credit, will bring social impetus to invest in forestation and bring valuation to forest and related resource industries. SWS recommends Yongan Foestry(6.69,0.16,2.45%), Jilin Forest Products(8.69,-0.19,-2.14%), Shengda Forestry(6.80,0.15,2.26%), Yueyang Paper(8.51,0.16,1.92%).
China’s future biomass development strategic areas are: 1) elevate use of solar efficient plant resources; 2) biomass resource; 3) development and use of micro organism; 4) development in sustainable biological resource; 5) genetics; 6) specialized used of biomass — organic material and technology.
While main focus of carbon trading is natural reduction of emission, bio-methane power generation and related field are being promoted, contributing to a new low-carbon economic model. China’s agricultural and biomass resources are plentiful, diverse, widely available. Live stock include hundreds million head of pigs, cows, goats, fowls. With large amount of live stock, the amount of waste is also large. In response to China’s rapid industrialization, there’s great potential for methane reclamation in composting, garbage collection, waste water treatment. Methane power generation is an energy saving, environmentally friendly venture that reduces carbon emission and applicable under carbon trading. Main areas for methane reclamation are: landfills, waste water, live stock farming. SWS recommend observing methane power generation ventures from live stock companies such as Yiming Corp.(13.43,-0.14,-1.03%).