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

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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

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner, Interviewed exclusively by CNN on Documentary "Under the Dome"

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Mar 19, 2015
China smog documentary ""Under the Dome" goes viral. Director of Wilson Center's China Environment Forum, Jennifer Turner, was interviewed by CNN to comment on the documentary and its impacts on China's environment protection. more

China and Latin America: Seeking a Path to Sustainable Development

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April 16, 2015 // 10:00am12:00pm
The rise of China has been a boon to the economies of Latin America for more than a decade with Chinese investment being particularly active in the energy and mining sectors. more
Webcast

Panel Discussion of "Under the Dome"

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March 12, 2015 // 2:40pm4:00pm
Under the Dome is a powerful and personal documentary on China’s air pollution by former CCTV reporter Chai Jing. Premiering on China’s Internet on the eve of nationwide political meetings, Under the Dome exceeded 200 million views in under a week and sparked a historic social media discussion. The film was initially lauded by China’s media and new Environmental Minister, but has since been removed from Chinese video sites such as Youku and Tencent. more

CEF Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, Interviewed by the Guardian on China’s Food Security and Safety

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Feb 19, 2015
For the past three decades an onslaught of urban development, desertification, and pollution has been eating away at China’s once-endless sprawl of tiny farms. How can the country address the dilemma of ramping up urbanization and maintaining food safety and security? more

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