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Unrestrained development and industrialization throughout the country makes China particularly vulnerable to growing changes of climate. Extreme ecological events are now common news headlines in China—such as snowstorms, floods and drought.  Forty percent of the world's population depends on rivers originating in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau, rivers that depend heavily on the glaciers. China, with its economy based mainly on heavy industry and coal for cheap energy, emits high levels of greenhouse gases—recently overtaking the United States as the global emitter of carbon dioxide—ultimately accelerating global warming and climate change.

Current Initiatives:

Cooperative Competitors: Building New U.S.-China Climate and Energy Networks--In November 2009 just after Presidents Obama and Hu met in Beijing to sign nine new bilateral energy agreements, CEF launched this new initiative, which was made possible through seed funding from Blue Moon Fund and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as support from USAID and Vermont Law School. Over the course of the first year CEF has organized a focused series of meetings—both public and closed—and produce research briefs that have aimed to encourage substantive dialogue and debate on the complex costs and benefits of accelerating clean energy development in the United States and promoting cooperation and joint investment with China in such technologies. See Event Summaries link for webcasts and summaries of the Cooperative Competitors meetings.