Happy New Year! Hope you are are staying warm, especially for those of you in northern China stuck in the worse winter storm in six decades.
Let’s kick off the new year with yet another Top Ten list, taking a look back at the best blog posts on GLF in 2009. Last time, we attempted to select the top five posts of 2008 but ended up with seven or eight. So for 2009, we’ll attempt to broaden the selection to the Top Ten. As before, the selection is non-scientific and based on a combination of tracked page views (thank you, Google Analytics!) and the author’s favorites. Unlike the last time, which was in no particular order, I have attempted to rank this list in order of significance:
1. Eco-infrastructure: Letting Nature Do the Work (Feb 27). Almost a white paper that explores lots of theoretical concepts and culminates in a set of 9 principles of what eco-communities (notice I avoid the phrase “eco-cities”) should embody. This post stood out as my most fun to write (I love bridging the theoretical to pracitcal), but also turned out to be the single most visited post that was published in 2009. (Of course, this metric is not perfect as it discriminates against posts that go up later in the year, and hence have less expsoure–this is why the Top Ten ranking is not based purely on number of hits.)
2. China’s Climate Progress by the Numbers (Jun 4). This piece, which reads like a glorified edition of Green Hops providing a comprehensive overview of many of China’s national clean energy policies, help put me on the map, so to speak, in the DC China climate/energy policy community.
3. China in Copenhagen Series (Dec). Not so much a single post, but a collection of detailed posts, most of it written by guest bloggers Angel Hsu and her team from Yale University who were on the ground in Copenhagen tracking the Chinese delegation. Their almost daily coverage and in depth discussion of the nuances of the Chinese climate position sent GLF daily hits soaring to record heights in December. Thank you Angel and company!
4. China to adopt “binding” goal to reduce CO2 emissions per unit GDP by 40 to 45% of 2005 levels by 2020 (Nov 26). In terms of content, the title says it all. I am particularly proud of this 3,300 word post because I managed to get this up within hours of the announcement, which accounted for it being one of the most visited posts for the year.
5. Safety is your responsibility and MINE: The Heilongjiang coal mine disaster in context (Nov 25). This tragedy, the largest in two years, underscores the point that China continues to pay a heavy price for their reliance on coal.
6. numbers behind China’s energy intensity performance over the recent years…with some very interesting and original findings.
7. China’s New Water Efficiency Targets (and Implications for Food and Energy) (Feb 17). On the food-water-energy nexus, one of my favorite issues that I will hopefully be writing more about soon.
8. How Did China Fare in Copenhagen? A Critical Analysis by Someone Not in the Room (Dec 23). A post-mortem of how China did in the Copenhagen climate negotiations. In a word–well, which is not necessarily great news for global climate cooperation. This is kind of part of the whole “China in Copenhagen” series in #3 as well, but I set it apart as its own because this consists entirely of GLF’s original analysis, which sets itself apart from the other posts in the series that came mostly from guest bloggers.
9. Dawn of a New Era: The Gansu Solar Concession and Landmark Solar Roofs Program (Mar 27). This post described new incentive policies that marked the beginning of a new era on the Chinese solar industry. After years of manufacturing solar photovoltaic panels almost exclusively for overseas markets, China is now getting serious about deploying them domestically. The hot interest in China’s solar industry led to high score on the blog counter for this particular post, and others like it, such as this and this.
10. Announcements of U.S.-China Cooperation Create a Path to Copenhagen Success (Nov 22). This list would not be complete without a the story on how a new chapter in US-China relations has been written through clean energy and climate change cooperation. I wrote a few blog posts on this, and have chosen this one for highlighting cooperation on transparency that few other commentators picked up, even though it was another earlier post (“Obama and Hu announce comprehensive strategy for clean energy and climate change collaboration,” Nov 17) on clean energy technology cooperation that garnered one of the highest hits of the year.
I am really looking forward to the upcoming year as 2010 may prove to be bigger than ever. First, the Copenhagen Accord needs to be implemented and a new legally binding treaty can hopefully be hammered out over the next 11.5 months culminating in COP16 in Mexico City. US-China cooperation on clean energy will continue evolve as both leaderships place high priority on them. We also expect to see new clean energy development targets formalized (thought the new targets are by now largely known), and perhaps announcements on new spending (remember that 3 trillion yuan expecatation that never materialized this past year?). We also expect to see more developments on transparency and accountability–the topic is hot and the rest of the world is demanding that China steps up on this front–and I am confident that it will try. Finally, as I have forecasted before, water issues, both in terms of quality and quantity (or lack thereof) will continue to come into focus.