• On the ‘not surprised front,’ the China is hacking Google.
  • As I reported before, the pollution is getting very bad in Hong Kong.  Now this report.  I absolutely love Hong Kong; it’s probably my favorite major city in the world (my favorite small city is Portland, Maine), but the industrialization of Guangdong Province is taking its toll, and Hong Kong’s air seems worse each time I’m there.  Singapore has the most to gain.  I’m going back to HK soon, and I’ll report.
  • A blog post that both applauds (in the short term) or questions (in the long term) the environmental strategy of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.




I received this interesting note from WWF-Hong Kong:

Ecological Footprint (English)

WWF- Hong Kong has recently released the Hong Kong Ecological Footprint Report 2010, which demonstrates that Hong Kong people are living beyond the Earth’s limits. According to the report, if everyone in the world lived a similar lifestyle to that of Hong Kong people, we would need the equivalent resources of 2.2 Earths. Hong Kong has the 45th largest Ecological Footprint per person compared to 150 countries with populations larger than 1 million people in 2007.

 The Ecological Footprint measures the extent of human demand for the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. Both quantities are expressed in units of global hectares (gha). Hong Kong has an average per person Ecological Footprint of 4.0 gha, which is more than double the 1.8 gha of biocapacity – the area actually available to produce resources and absorb CO2 – available per person globally. This report uses 2007 data.

Here are some interesting news items and blog posts from this morning:

See here.  There are too many scary quotes in this Times article to list, but here’s a sample:

In recent weeks, China’s news media have reported sales of pork adulterated with the drug clenbuterol, which can cause heart palpitations; pork sold as beef after it was soaked in borax, a detergent additive; rice contaminated with cadmium, a heavy metal discharged by smelters; arsenic-laced soy sauce; popcorn and mushrooms treated with fluorescent bleach; bean sprouts tainted with an animal antibiotic; and wine diluted with sugared water and chemicals.


VT Law School’s U.S.-China Partnership Names New Faculty Director


SOUTH ROYALTON, VT –– Vermont Law School Professor Jason Czarnezki, an internationally recognized scholar in environmental and natural resources law and policy, has been appointed faculty director of VLS’s U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the Partnership’s work in building  China’s capacity for individual and institutional action to solve environmental and energy problems,” Czarnezki said.

Established in 2006, the U.S.-China Partnership works to improve China’s environmental governance and rule of law, including criminal and civil enforcement of environmental laws and regulations that have been widely ignored during China’s economic boom. “We’re excited to have such an accomplished scholar join our team,” said Assistant Professor Siu Tip Lam, program director of the Partnership.

Under the leadership of Czarnezki and Lam, the Partnership will enter a new era of increased scholarship and academic exchange with Chinese institutions that solidifies VLS’s role as the leading U.S. law school working on Chinese environmental and energy law and policy issues.

Czarnezki will work with Lam to:

  • Expand research and policy development projects on Chinese environmental and energy law;
  • Coordinate research and scholarship between U.S.and Chinese scholars and students;
  • Help develop and implement capacity building programs for Chinese government officials, scholars and lawyers.
  • Strengthen the VLS curriculum on Chinese environmental law and policy;
  • Develop internship programs for VLS students in China;
  • Create academic and student exchanges between VLS and Chinese institutions;
  • Promote scholarly publication and lectures by VLS faculty and students on China’s environmental issues.

Czarnezki, who received a law degree from The University of Chicago, has held academic appointments at Marquette UniversityLawSchool, DePaul University College of Law, and Sun Yat‑sen (Zhongshan) University in Guangzhou, China, where he spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a J. William Fulbright Scholar. He has presented his work on environmentalism, natural resources law, food policy, global climate policy and U.S.-China relations at universities, public interest organizations, government institutions, and conferences throughout the United State sand Asia. He is working on a series of articles about U.S.government involvement in Chinese environmental policy and an edited volume on the future of Chinese environmental policy.

Lam, who has been the U.S.-China Partnership’s program director since May 2010, will continue to direct its capacity building programs in China. Lam came to VLS from the Massachusetts Attorney General Office, where was an assistant attorney general in the Environmental Protection Division. She received her law degree from Northeastern University Law School. A native of Hong Kong, she speaks Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese.

“Professor Czarnezki will deepen our ability to serve students and faculty from China and the U.S. as we further integrate our work in China with our academic program here in Vermont,” said Dean Jeff Shields.

The U.S.-China Partnership has trained more than 1,000 Chinese lawyers, judges, government officials and others, conducted numerous workshops and undertaken other initiatives. The Partnership recently helped to establish China’s first public interest environmental law firm and a new university legal advocacy center devoted to environmental health and safety issues.

Much of the Partnership’s work has been done through grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development. VLS’s partners include Sun Yat-sen University Law School, the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims at the China University of Political Science and Law, the Vermont-based Regulatory Assistance Project, and the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

More information about the U.S.-China Partnership is available at

Full Press Release available here.

The Post has an opinion piece titled “Hold the accolades on China’s ‘green leap forward’.”

China’s Energy and Carbon Emissions Outlook to 2050


As a result of soaring energy demand from a staggering pace of economic expansion and the related growth of energy-intensive industry, China overtook the United States to become the world’s largest contributor to CO2 emissions in 2007. At the same time, China has taken serious actions to reduce its energy and carbon intensity by setting both a short-term energy intensity reduction goal for 2006 to 2010 as well as a long-term carbon intensity reduction goal for 2020. This study presents a China Energy Outlook through 2050 that assesses the role of energy efficiency policies in transitioning China to a lower emission trajectory and meeting its intensity reduction goals.

Over the past few years, LBNL has established and significantly enhanced its China End-Use Energy Model which is based on the diffusion of end-use technologies and other physical drivers of energy demand. This model presents an important new approach for helping understand China’s complex and dynamic drivers of energy consumption and implications of energy efficiency policies through scenario analysis. A baseline (“Continued Improvement Scenario”) and an alternative energy efficiency scenario (“Accelerated Improvement Scenario”) have been developed to assess the impact of actions already taken by the Chinese government as well as planned and potential actions, and to evaluate the potential for China to control energy demand growth and mitigate emissions. In addition, this analysis also evaluated China’s long-term domestic energy supply in order to gauge the potential challenge China may face in meeting long-term demand for energy.

It is a common belief that China’s CO2 emissions will continue to grow throughout this century and will dominate global emissions. The findings from this research suggest that this will not necessarily be the case because saturation in ownership of appliances, construction of residential and commercial floor area, roadways, railways, fertilizer use, and urbanization will peak around 2030 with slowing population growth. The baseline and alternative scenarios also demonstrate that China’s 2020 goals can be met and underscore the significant role that policy-driven energy efficiency improvements will play in carbon mitigation along with a decarbonized power supply through greater renewable and non-fossil fuel generation.

More and more American universities are opening up campuses in Asia.  Now this news that Yale will open a campus in Singapore.  NYU already has a planned campus in Shanghai.  These elite universities seem most comfortable with the stability of joing forces with major governments and/or universities they control as sponsors.  The demand for this type of education exists in Asia, and I’ll be curious to follow whether these univeristies, if successful, will attract not only native populations but Americans interested in a more global education.  I do expect this will fundamentally alter the nature of study abroad programs.  This is all part of a huge overhaul in Asian higher education.  The Chinese have already expended their undergraduate university system and are currently expanding graduate programs, and Hong Kong is reforming its education model to conform with mainland China and the United States, resulting in the anticipated hired of hundreds of additional faculty.

On behalf of the Vermont Law School’s US-China Partnership on Environmental Law, my colleague Jingjing Liu attended the International Symposium on Environmental Courts and Tribunals at Pace Law School on April 1, 2011, and participated on a Panel on the Environmental Courts in China.

She presented on the Chinese legal system and the development of specialized environmental court and shared the work that Vermont Law School is doing with the courts in China.  The other four panelists were my former colleague Tseming Yang, Professor Bob Percival, Senior Attorney Tim Epp from the Environmental Appeal Board of the USEPA, and Vivian Wang from NRDC.  Each of them shared their observations on whether China’s courts can play a similar role in advancing environmental law as the courts have done here in the U.S.

To watch the video of the panel, click here.  The panel on China and Environmental Courts begins at 02:05:00.

The U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law (“China Program”) at Vermont Law School invites applications for a two-year graduate fellowship starting in August 2011. The fellowship combines the opportunity to obtain an LLM in Environmental Law from one of the leading environmental law programs in the nation with the opportunity to gain practical international environmental law experience on a variety of policy coordination, research, and educational outreach projects. The fellowship includes a full tuition waiver and a stipend of $35,000 per year.  More details here.

UPDATE: Application Deadline Extended to May 1, 2011.

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