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 by Washington Post about the Documentary Under the Dome

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Mar 31, 2015
In the past March, an online documentary about air pollution in China called “Under the Dome” has drawn thousands of millions of views. Some have compared the film to Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” the 1962 book on pesticides that led to a ban on DDT. CEF Director Jennifer Turner was interviewed by Washington Post to comment on the impacts and significance of this film. more

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner, Quoted by Marketplace about the groundbreaking documentary Under the Dome

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Mar 31, 2015
China’s Premier Li Keqiang said in 2015 National People’s Congress that the government is serious about cutting smog and will impose harsher fines on polluters. Keqiang's comments came after the online release this month of a groundbreaking — at least, for China — documentary on the country’s air pollution crisis, called “Under the Dome” more

Jennifer Turner, Director of China Environment Forum, Interviewed by Toronto Star about the smash-hit documentary Under the Dome

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Mar 31, 2015
Under the Dome, the smash-hit documentary on pollution in China was banned in China after it triggered a national conversation. China Environment Forum Director, Jennifer Turner said, “A big moment is coming to China,” when being interviewed by Toronto Star about the film. more

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner Interviewed by People’s Daily on U.S. China Climate Cooperation

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Mar 31, 2015
In an People’s Daily editorial about the U.S. China Climate Cooperation deal reached last November, CEF director Jennifer Turner, said the U.S.‐China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) established under the agreement is of special importance. more

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