The Stream, March 1: What’s Choking China’s Growth?

Pollution and growing demand for resources threaten to halt China’s economic growth, according to the country’s environment minister. The unusually blunt warning comes just a few days before the start of China’s annual parliament session, which will unveil the country’s development plan for the next five years. What else is choking China’s growth — follow Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: China series.

And while China is trying to rein in its own domestic challenges, its sizzling growth is making its Southeast Asian neighbors nervous, according to this op-ed in the Khaleej Times.

Hard to imagine, but by mid-century southern France may no longer be suitable for Cabernet and Merlot wines, according to an expert at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Paris. Der Spiegel reports that climate change might seriously affect France’s famous wine industry and that some producers are already switching to heat-resistant grape varieties as a precaution.

Yale Environment 360 explains how Europe’s unconventional fuel reserves are making it a hotspot for drilling companies. The shale gas industry’s first baby steps on the continent are raising many new questions exactly as Europe is supposed to be shifting to a more sustainable energy portfolio.

Experts and environmentalists are awaiting a decision on a controversial dam on the Lower Mekong River. The proposed Xayabury Dam in Laos promises to supply much needed energy to the region but at a high risk to the environment and surrounding communities. The first among 11 dams proposed along the lower reaches of the Mekong, Xayabury will set the course for future hydropower development in the basin.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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