IN BEIJING: Global Choke Point: Water-Energy-Food Confrontations in the World’s Two Largest Economies

August 07, 2013 // 2:00pm4:30pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
Global Sustainability and Resilience Program

NOTE: This meeting will be held in Beijing

LOCATION: Room 127, Leo KoGuan Building, Peking University School of Government - Beijing, China

Three colliding trends — declining freshwater reserves, uncertain grain supplies, and booming energy demand — are disrupting economies, governments, and environments around the world. Unlike food or energy, we cannot grow or easily produce more water. That is especially true in the era of climate change, when deeper droughts and terrible floods tighten the food and energy choke points are already caused by waste, pollution, and mismanagement of water.

These complex challenges demand integrated analyses and innovative solutions. For three years research teams from the Woodrow Wilson Center and Circle of Blue have been reporting from the United States, China, Australia, India, and the other frontlines of the world’s water-food-energy crisis. In our Choke Point: China reports we were the first to find that China's northern desert provinces, which supply 70 percent of the nation's coal and 20 percent of its grain, would run out of water by the end of this decade if conventional farm and energy production practices did not change. Our Choke Point: U.S. work is examining some of the risks of energy development in the United States, like shale gas boom, which uses significant amounts of water and are developing in both important grain-growing states and some of the nation's driest regions.

Building on our Choke Point research in the United States and China, the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum partnered with the Beijing-based Greenovation Hub to organize a diverse group of U.S. and Chinese experts into a China Water-Energy Team (China WET). The team is holding roundtable discussions in Beijing the week of August 5, 2013 with the goal of gathering information and data to identify research, legal, policy, and NGO priorities for China to begin dealing with water-energy confrontations and to explore opportunities for further U.S.-China cooperation on these issues.

At this workshop at Beijing University our Chinese and U.S. China WET members will be joined by Dr. Paolo Farah to delve into the water-energy challenges facing China and the United States, looking at risks and opportunities to build resilience to deal with these growing natural resource confrontations.

Event Documents: 
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Event Sessions: 
  • Short keynote: Global Choke Point
  • Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue


Panel 1: Water-Energy Confrontations in the United States

  • Vince Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratory
  • Pam Bush, Delaware River Basin Commission 
  • Q&A


Panel 2: Solving China’s Water-Energy Nexus Challenges

  • Jia Shaofeng, Institute for Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research—
  • Sun Qingwei, Greenpeace China
  • Yang Fuqiang, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Q &A


Panel 3: Climate Change, Energy Security and Water Wrap Up Panel

  • Jia Yangwen, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research
  • Paolo Farah, Edge Hill University Department of Law & Criminology
  • Q & A
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