This month Road to Rio stops off in China to check out some green initiatives there
The team discovers how new transport projects in Hong Kong are reducing carbon emissions
They also visit the world's first carbon positive city and see how China's toy production is turning green
This month, Road to Rio touches down in China. In their first stop, CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout and Stan Grant, and the Road to Rio ‘Expert’ Jie Yu, meet in Hong Kong to explore a range of the city’s boldest carbon cutting initiatives.
The dynamic journey features sustainable transport projects such as the Hong Kong Police’s fleet of electric scooters, clean fuel taxis, electric cars and solar ferries.
The reporters visit the latest in green architecture - the solar glass of the Science Park and the Zero Carbon Building. They taste the delights of the Intercontinental cuisine - it’s ‘carbon neutral menu’ and watch as the waste oil is collected to be converted into bio-fuel at a local power plant.
One reporter heads to a glass recycling plant, while the other climbs to the sky gardens – where urban farming is blossoming. In the evening, as the colors of the night start to light up on Tsim Sha Tsui, one scientist explains his low energy color LED invention which will be reducing Hong Kong’s light pollution.
Agriculture is the world’s second highest carbon culprit. Nitrogen fertilizers are responsible for over a third of the sector’s emissions, and plants are notoriously bad at absorbing nitrogen. Arcadia Group has developed a groundbreaking rice seed which incorporates the efficient nitrogen absorbing genes from wheat. China is the world’s largest producer of rice, so Stan Grant goes to visit the testing plantation in the fertile soil of Yinchuan.
70% of China’s electricity is generated by coal and it’s no clean process. One company is pioneering a solution to the high carbon emissions: carbon capture. Shenhua Coal Factory in Ordos plant is is home to the world’s first operating carbon capture facility. CCS technology captures carbon dioxide produced during the coal combustion process and aims to store it underground indefinitely. Stan Grant explores the factory to find out how the technology works.
Branded the world’s first carbon positive city, Baoding describes itself as a ‘living showcase of environmental technology’ and is home to over 200 renewable energy producing companies.
Jie Yu is this month’s Road to Rio ‘expert’ – born in Shanghai, she is Climate Change Policy Director at The Nature Conservancy, China. She takes CNN on a tour of the city, from factories creating wind turbines to the production lines churning out sheets of solar panels. Jie speaks to a WWF Project Manager in the carbon neutral Jinjiang International Hotel, about how this city could be a model for others in a rapidly urbanizing country.
The ‘Made in China’ label is ubiquitous. China produces some 70% of the world’s toys, in factories located in the Guangdong province. The production lines are unrelenting, as are the carbon emissions. Kristie goes to visit one factory heading up an ambitious plan to cut the carbon at even the lowest level of operations. Tsuen Lee factory in Shenzhen are committed to a rigorous energy saving programme - a range of new and innovative low-tech solutions are ensuring that clean green toys will now circulate the playrooms of the world.