Sustainability news often comes out of China at a trickle. This past month, it’s been a deluge
July is the official start of campaign season in the U.S., with both major parties selecting their nominee for the highest office in the land. Across the Pacific, Shanghai’s been holding a little campaign of its own. This one isn’t fraught with plagiarized speeches or missing e-mails. No. This campaign is all about ethics and how to create a society based on the rule of law.
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.
All signs were pointing to a banner year in air quality for 2015. You had increased awareness, green initiatives, and government measures all in place. Unfortunately, the air quality in Shanghai actually worsened in 2015. We're not talking about just a little bit, either.
The seventh month of the lunar calendar marks the annual Buddhist Ghost Month. This is a time where the spirits of the dead roam the Earth and commune with their living loved ones. Unfortunately, it's also a time where the living create enough pollution to lower their own life expectancies. This begs the question: how much should we modernize tradition?
June is gay pride month, with worldwide festivities of parades, parties and remembrance marking the occasion. Major cities in China, including Shanghai and Beijing, are celebrating gay pride month in their own unique ways. The issue of human rights, and the contemporary struggle of homosexuals the world over for acceptance and integration, is a central tenet of social responsibility. How exactly does the history of gay rights and culture in Chinese society through to today impact any future advancement for the LGBT community?
Six years ago this week, China took proactive measures to reduce waste from lightweight plastic bags. Nationally, the Government banned stores from handing bags out for free. Stores now charge a fee for plastic bags. The 5 mao tax, equivalent to less than 10 U.S. cents, is minimal but still a deterrent for most. Over half a decade on, these moves have become part and parcel of daily life. With plenty of room for improvement though, it is important to look back on the ban’s successes and where it could go in the future.