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China’s Painful Transition to a Clean Energy Future

Date & Time

Oct. 26, 2021
9:30am – 10:45am ET


The November COP26 in Glasgow is fast approaching and many climate watchers had held high expectations for China to announce even greater steps to reduce carbon emissions. However, today China is experiencing massive energy shortages, highlighting how despite leading the world in installed wind, solar, electric vehicles and super grids, the path to a clean energy transition can be painful. Beijing has ordered increases in coal mining and a restart in coal-fired power plant construction, raising doubts that the country will achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030.

In this webinar, panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing China’s pivot away from coal both at home and in its investments along the Belt and Road abroad.

Zhou Xizhou (IHS Markit) will tackle the tough questions on the multiple international and domestic factors fueling China’s current energy crunch and what it may mean for China meeting its coal cap and decarbonization goals. Our second speaker, Xi Wang (Western Washington University) will dive deep into the drivers of China’s coal overcapacity and how it continues to pose a challenge to decarbonizing the electricity grid. Cecilia Han Springer (Boston University) will explore Xi Jinping’s recent declaration to halt Chinese overseas coal investments and what this could mean for China’s Belt and Road Initiative moving forward.


Zhou Xizhou

Vice President and Managing Director, Global Power and Renewables, IHS Markit
Xi Wang Headshot

Xi Wang

Assistant Professor at Western Washington University's Institute for Energy Studies (IES) and in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy (UEPP) 
Cecilia Han Springer image

Cecilia Han Springer

Wilson China Fellow;
Senior Researcher at Boston University's Global China Initiative.

Hosted By

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more