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Avoiding Military Conflict: Recently, a US military board reclassified climate change & water risk from a "threat multiplier" to a "catalyst for instability & conflict". This month we review the impact of water risks on national security and other conflict pinch points such as food and energy security in an increasingly hot and water scarce world. Already Oxfam is seeing the impact on small farmers who support 1.5–2 billion people with food and fear we will end up “Hot & Hungry” and share with us how local disaster response plans deployed can help ease exposure to such risks. Energy security is also an issue. Beijing's new low carbon development plan in a bid towards cleaner air means more clean energy. Hydropower seems an obvious choice but with over 46,000 dams, Chinese NGOs are worried that China's rivers are already at maximum dam capacity. The Woodrow Wilson Center's Dong & Turner say its time to rethink China's dam rush. Moreover,China’s drive in hydropower has meant damming in seismic zones; Chinadialogue's Yunnan Chen expands on the need for urgent review. Natural disasters such as floods & earthquakes strain military resources, ultimately weakening national baseline readiness. An effective Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system, can go some way to mitigating this by preventing the construction of environmentally unsound projects. Unfortunately, fraudulent & substandard EIA reporting persist in China. Green Stone Environmental Action Network's Li and Wang share their findings from the ground in Jiangsu province whilst we review the EIA process. Ensuring water security is not China's issue alone. Recently, China reported that glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have shrunk by 15% in the last three decades. This is China's largest surface freshwater reserve; it provides water to 250 million people in China and up to 500 million in South Asia. China's pursuit of clean energy security and climate change may accelerate geopolitical risk. In short, water matters to national security. Surely it's time to plan for these black swan risks to avoid military conflict.
   
June Newsletter
 
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Avoiding Military Conflict: Recently, a US military board reclassified climate change & water risk from a "threat multiplier" to a "catalyst for instability & conflict". This month we review the impact of water risks on national security and other conflict pinch points such as food and energy security in an increasingly hot and water scarce world. Already Oxfam is seeing the impact on small farmers who support 1.5–2 billion people with food and fear we will end up “Hot & Hungry”. Oxfam's Magrath & Morris-Iveson share with us how local disaster response plans deployed by Oxfam can help ease exposure to such risks.

Energy security is also an issue. Beijing's new low carbon development plan in a bid towards cleaner air means more clean energy. Hydropower seems an obvious choice but with over 46,000 dams, Chinese NGOs are worried that China's rivers are already at maximum dam capacity. The Woodrow Wilson Center's Dong & Turner say its time to rethink China's dam rush. Moreover,China’s drive in hydropower has meant damming in seismic zones; Chinadialogue's Yunnan Chen expands on the need for urgent review.

Natural disasters such as floods & earthquakes strain military resources, ultimately weakening national baseline readiness. An effective Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system, can go some way to mitigating this by preventing the construction of environmentally unsound projects. Unfortunately, fraudulent & substandard EIA reporting persist in China. Green Stone Environmental Action Network's Li and Wang share their findings from the ground in Jiangsu province whilst we review the EIA process.

Ensuring water security is not China's issue alone. Recently, the Chinese Academy of Science reported that glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have shrunk by 15% in the last three decades. This is China's largest surface freshwater reserve; it provides water to 250 million people in China and up to 500 million in South Asia. China's pursuit of clean energy security and climate change may accelerate geopolitical risk. In short, water matters to national security. Surely it's time to plan for these black swan risks to avoid military conflict.

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Water Risks & National Security
With the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau glaciers shrinking by 15%, we review US military views on how climate change impacts national security & China's current stance 
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Hot & Hungry: Disaster Management
Oxfam's Magrath & Morris-Iveson on on water & climate change risks and the need for local response plans in the face of rising competition for water
  Read this article
   
Rethinking China's Dam Rush
Woodrow Wilson Center's Dong & Turner review the “Last Report on China’s Rivers" authored by 19 Chinese NGOs urging China to rethink its hydropower expansion plans
  Read this article
   
Dams in Earthquake Zones
China's urgent need for clean energy means that dams may be built in seismic zones. With increasing number & severity of earthquakes, what does this mean for China's hydro plans?
  Read this article
   
Roadblocks to an Effective EIA
Wang Kai & Li Chunhua from Chinese NGO, Green Stone Environment Action Network report their findings on Jiangsu province's ineffective EIA process
  Read this article
   
Prioritising EIA Reform in China
Fraudulent & substandard EIA reporting persist. How does China's EIA process compare to the US & HK? We examine the reforms in store for companies & EIA assesors
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Government: Reports: Events: Interest:
  • Daily wastewater treatment capacity =126mn cum,up 3.4mn cum from last year
  • >RMB170bn of wastewater discharge fees collected during 2003-2013
  • MEP launches ad campaign to urge public to join the war on pollution against air, water & soil
  • China's hybrid rice set to break world record yield at 1,081.8kg/mu
  • China to close >2,000 small-scale coalmines by 2015
  • Zhao Xizi, Chairman of All-China Chamber of Commerce for Metallurgical SMEs says steel mills don't have cash to meet smog standards
  • Fujian: 1st environmental court opens with 12 experts to assist in litigation
  • ABD loans China US$200mn to improve water access & quality
  • UN Watercourses Convention will be effective in August 2014 once Vietnam joins
Hot on Weibo:
  • Guangdong Floods 1.2mn people affected; RMB4.2bn in direct economic loss underground drainage system blamed
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