Multi-front Actions on the War on Pollution
by China Water Risk 14 July, 2015
The State of Environmental Report in 2014 was officially “average” but a closer look reveals groundwater quality has worsened four years running and rivers in the Southwest are showing signs of deterioration for the first time. Can the war on pollution be effective when polluters are tampering with monitoring? There is hope … 2015 should mark the turning point with the new environmental protection law in force. Recent action include higher violation fines, more litigation and a continuing anti-corruption crackdown (see “Tapping In” column). Violations resulting in penalties and stop production orders have already doubled between 2011-2014 and corruption controversies are expected to double in 2015 – MSCI’s Chew & Wang further expand on their findings. With a multi-front war on pollution, it is important not to ignore the associated risks – already Ceres’ Freyman is saying that water – or the lack of it, is becoming a bigger financial issue for investors. Aside from fighting to lower carbon emissions, edicts and polices this month have also pushed safe drinking water to reach 60 million more Chinese and circular economy pilots in industry parks. We therefore have Li Ling share some cost effective rural drinking water solutions while WaterHubs’ Saraf tells us how urban slums can go circular with modular water & sanitation infrastructure and Veolia’s Cambadelis tackles the water-energy nexus by turning wastewater into energy in Urumqi. Another industry that needs to go circular due to limited water resources is the apparel sector. We are glad to see the industry recognising this in the Global Leadership Awards in Sustainable Apparel (GLASA) by focusing on water in 2015. We are also pleased to announce that we have been nominated and selected as a finalist for the 2015 GLASA Awards which will take place in Stockholm, to coincide with World Water Week where we will co-convene a seminar with HSBC on “Rethinking Water for Growth: Balancing trade, resource allocation & economy” (see events). See you in Stockholm!
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