For students and parents across China, May means only one thing: the Gaokao. This year, an estimated 9.4 million high school seniors sat the two-day college entrance examination in hopes of grabbing one of 3.7 million undergraduate spots. Happy news could spell a new path for their families, country, and the world.
China keeps making a full-court press on all things sustainable this month. This furthers the dive into a Twilight Zone where the U.S. and Middle Kingdom switch pole positions in the fight to save the Earth.
Sustainability news often comes out of China at a trickle. This past month, it’s been a deluge
China likes to top lists – world’s tallest observation deck; world’s fastest train; world’s largest population. In October, China topped another list – world’s least charitable country.
Today, Reince Priebus announced that the Trump Administration would make climate change denial its official policy. As leaders in Beijing wake up to the news, they must be having their own Thanksgiving. It’s not that they wish ill on the American people. It’s just, well, a dream come true.
Two of America’s most prestigious universities, Yale and Columbia, have been collaborating since 2006 to produce the biannual global Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The EPI looks at “…how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy areas: protection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems.” While this is an abbreviated portion of the entire scope of environmental protection, it does give practical information that states can use to improve their impact on the Earth. The 2016 version, released in late January at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, did just this.
Not surprisingly, China’s performance wasn’t so hot. Even more surprisingly, it wasn’t all that bad either.
Greenpeace, the not-so-quiet critic of China vis-à-vis the environment, released a statement this week that was more conciliatory than damning. In the statement, the international organization cited a 1-2% drop in China’s use of coal.