The Samsung saga involving a toxic chemical leak at its major chipmaking factory doesn’t seem to be over yet.
South Korea’s environment ministry said on Tuesday that it will investigate the incident to see if some hydrofluoric acid was leaked to the outside of the plant and whether Samsung’s safety facilities are well maintained to protect its workers from toxic chemicals. Continue reading »
But does this mean that China, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon, will adopt a serious carbon tax? According to Su Wei, director general of climate change at the powerful economic planning ministry, the answer is: probably not anytime soon. Continue reading »
The snowflakes drifting earthwards made for a pretty sight in Seoul this week. But they had a darker aspect for many residents concerned about their toxic properties, as worries continue about South Korea’s vulnerability to air pollution in nearby China.
Much of eastern China has experienced its worst smog for years over the past week, caused largely by the past decade’s huge increase in coal usage by factories and power plants, as well as emissions from the rapidly growing number of motor vehicles. Since Saturday, South Korea has also suffered an acute rise in air pollution – albeit not to the same levels of Beijing – and local media, as well as government officials, are pinning the blame on China. Continue reading »
By uncanny coincidence, the record-breaking pollution that has enveloped Beijing comes almost exactly 60 years after London’s Great Smog of 1952, the worst case of air pollution in British history.
The comparison will not be lost in China. Many Chinese will remember Mao-era propaganda films which often showed London’s smogs as evidence of the failure of capitalism. Britain responded to the enviromental crisis with a clean-up. It’s time for China to do the same. Continue reading »
Bangladesh is widely known as significant exporter of garments to major Western brands in Europe and the US. Less noticed has been the rapid growth of its leather industry, which last year exported around $663m worth of leather and leather products to Italy, Spain, Germany, China, South Korea and Japan.
But global importers sourcing leather from Bangladesh for handbags, shoes and jackets are running the risk of a severe blow to their reputation, with a human rights group now training its sights on abuses by the country’s unregulated export-oriented leather industry. Continue reading »
Microsoft’s Beijing office handed out a curious Chinese New Year’s gift to its staff a few weeks ago: a heavy-duty gas mask. Other global companies have also been distributing face masks to their Beijing staff, including electronics maker LG.
Why such a morose gift during a holiday season? Air pollution and its health impact is becoming a bigger concern in China’s smoggy capital. Continue reading »
Yes, that’s right – the Chinese capital which, when the news came out on Wednesday, was suffocating under a dark grey blanket of smog that hadn’t lifted for days and which has been covering it most of this summer. Continue reading »
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