About the China Environment Forum

The water-energy-food choke point is forcing a new reckoning. Three colliding trends—declining freshwater reserves, booming energy demand, and uncertain grain supplies—are disrupting economies, governments, and environments around the world. As the world’s most populous country and biggest energy consumer, China’s energy, food, and environmental security is threatened as it hits these choke points. How Chinese policymakers deal with these water-energy-food confrontations will have significant domestic and global consequences. 

In 2010, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) teamed up with the Michigan-based Circle of Blue to launch the Choke Point: China initiative, which created a broad assessment and narrative of the water-energy-food confrontations in the world’s second largest economy. We were the first to report that 20 percent of China’s annual water use goes to produce energy from coal. Our reporting also raised sobering questions on the large and overlooked energy footprint of water in China. Over 20 multimedia reports on China’s choke points have attracted considerable interest from policymakers, researchers, and NGOs in and outside China, catalyzing new research, policy discussions, and programming. 

To deepen these dialogues and highlight potential solutions, the China Environment Forum began a partnership with the Beijing-based environmental group Greenovation Hub to organize the first China Water-Energy Team (China WET) exchange in August 2013. During the week-long exchange, the team participated in six closed and two public roundtable discussions in Beijing with Chinese government research institutes, think tanks, environmental NGOs, universities, and businesses.

This Roadmap captures insights from the China WET exchange and numerous in-depth interviews with Chinese and U.S. environmental and energy practitioners. The three main goals of this Roadmap are to: 

  • Provide a snapshot of the water-energy-food trends and major players in China;
  • Identify research and policy gaps for addressing China’s water-energy-food choke points; and,
  • Propose potential solutions moving forward, with an emphasis on the role of China-U.S. collaboration to address the water-energy- food confrontations in both countries. 

The work of the China Environment Forum and Greenovation Hub aims to cross silos both within and across the U.S. and Chinese governments, research, business, and NGO communities to inform, and hopefully catalyze, better policymaking and a greener environment. We hope this Roadmap will play a small part in helping both countries better address the water-energy-food challenge. 

 

The Latest from the China Environment Forum

Webcast

China's Foreign Policy in a New Era of Sino-Latin American Relations

Event //
March 24, 2015 // 9:00am11:00am
The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, and China Environment Forum, in collaboration with the Institute of the Americas, are pleased to invite you to a seminar exploring China’s evolving political engagement with Latin America. more

China-U.S.-ASEAN Relations and Maritime Security in the South China Sea

Publication //
Apr 01, 2015
The long-standing disputes over territory and maritime resources in the South China Sea have rapidly escalated, with China's claim over 90% of the territory overlapping with the claims of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei. more

China’s Water-Energy-Food Roadmap: A New Global Choke Point Report

Article //
Apr 01, 2015
The creation of a water-energy research initiative in the landmark U.S.-China climate agreement last fall could be the beginning of a new and different path for Sino-U.S. collaboration. more

The U.S. Energy Pivot: A New Era for Energy Security in Asia?

Article //
Apr 01, 2015
The past decade has brought ground-shaking changes to global energy markets. The unconventional fuel boom has unexpectedly reduced U.S. dependence on oil imports, while in the Asia-Pacific region, energy-constrained nations are increasingly reliant on foreign sources to meet their soaring demand. With the U.S. slated to export liquid natural gas (LNG) to Asia as early as 2017, a new energy era has come. more

China Daily Reported Documentary Cotton Road Screening at Wilson Center

Article //
Apr 01, 2015
A documentary film, The Cotton Road, directed by Laura Kissel was shown on March 18th at the Woodrow Wilson Center as part of the 23rd Environmental Film Festival in Washington. The film takes viewers on a journey with cotton from South Carolina to China that tries to stitch together some answers. More than 160 films from 31 countries are screened to promote dialogue and build understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities. more

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