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

Combatting Environmental Degradation and Poverty in Western China (Event in Mandarin Chinese)

Event //
July 06, 2015 // 3:00pm4:30pm
Join CEF for a meeting with Chinese NGOs that are at the forefront of the fight against environmental degradation and poverty in Western China more

CEF Director Jennifer Turner Quoted in a VICE Sports’ Article on the Golf Clamp Down in China

Article //
Jun 17, 2015
In China, golfers pay more than $50,000 annually to enjoy what has long been a wealthy person's sport. Now, many club members across the world's most populous nation are probably clamoring to get their money back, because the Party’s aims to fight corruption and preserve the environment. more

CEF Program Associate Susan Shifflett Interviewed by CCTV-America on Food Safety and Supply

Article //
Jun 17, 2015
Safety is just one part of the food supply chain. The other is the availability of food in the first place. CCTV-America interviewed CEF Program Associate Susan Shifflett on food issues. more

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner, was interviewed by CCTV America on China’s water solution

Article //
Jun 11, 2015
Water shortages are giving rise to the transformation of Chinese cities into what’s called ‘sponge cities’ where rain water is collected rather than allowed to run off. CEF Director, Jennifer Turner was interviewed by CCTV America on water solutions in China. more

InsightOut Issue 2 - Missed Opportunity? Chinese Clean Energy Foreign Direct Investment in the United States

Publication //
Jun 10, 2015
When foreign investors locate new energy projects in the United States, U.S. workers and consumers benefit. These investments, particularly in clean energy, help maintain and upgrade infrastructure, reduce carbon pollution, lower energy costs, and increase the nation’s resilience to extreme weather events and global oil market shocks. more

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