Friday news roundup highlighting the environmental news and commentary of the week.

This week China’s solar industry continued its incredible run, big promises were made at China’s Twin Sessions and China’s longest rivers are in trouble.

(and it was International Women’s Day! )

Solar installations up 50% worldwide thanks to US and China [Guardian]

The amount of new solar capacity in the US and China jumped by nearly two-fold in 2016, leading a 50% spike in capacity worldwide. Global solar capacity has reached 305GW, an increase of more than 600% since 2010. Solar installations in China accounted for nearly half of the 2016 capacity increase.

Environmental fines up 49% on last year [Reuters]

 China's Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining said Thursday that there was still more work to be done in China's "war against pollution," citing insufficient enforcement of environmental regulations and inconsistent monitoring efforts. Though the minister touted China's anti-pollution efforts when compared to developed countries, he said more could be done to get local actors on board. 

Why China’s water pollution could be a more serious problem than air pollution [InGreen]

According to WHO, 25 million people die every year in developing countries from unsafe water, but China’s appalling record with water quality hits the headlines only on occasion: the global and domestic media spotlight is still firmly planted on air pollution. 

Source of Mekong, Yellow and Yangtze rivers drying up [China Dialogue]

Climate change is threatening the source of 3 of Asia’s longest rivers, the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang (which becomes the Mekong when it flows out of Asia). China is now setting up a national park around the source in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, to attempt to monitor and mitigate the problem and it can’t happen soon enough: hundreds of millions of lives and livlihoods throughout China and Southeast Asia depend on these waterways.

Can a new smog-busting plan “make China’s skies blue again” ?[Guardian]

China’s smog problem was at the top of the agenda at this year’s twin sessions as Li Keqiang kicked off his speech by vowing to “make China’s skies blue again” with a new action plan.