6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

How Low (on Energy and Carbon) Can Buildings in China and the U.S. Go?

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Cities consume 70% of global energy, with building construction and operation creating the largest energy footprint. Buildings are energy hungry in both the United States and China, using 40% and 20% of urban energy, respectively. In the United States and China, the real estate and construction sectors generate 40% of each country’s carbon emissions.

At this May 8th meeting, CEF, the Kissinger Institute, and the Urban Sustainability Lab are co-hosting speakers from U.S. and Chinese companies and NGOs to discuss how their organizations are working to lower the energy, pollution, and carbon footprints of the two largest construction sectors and some of the fastest growing real estate markets in the world. Ai Luming, Chairman of the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE), a Chinese foundation at the forefront of integrating sustainability into China’s energy-intense building sector, will introduce their Green Supply Chain in Real Estate Industry Initiative that is promoting market-driven, voluntary emission reduction activities from suppliers and is creating an online environmental information disclosure system for construction materials. Cindy Ortega, Chief Sustainability Officer at MGM Resorts International will talk about MGM’s leading sustainable construction initiatives, from building LEED certified resorts to developing a solar array to power 30% of its Southern Nevada operations. Following the opening presentations speakers from SEE, Natural Resources Defense Council, and U.S. Green Building Council will join in the conversation making brief comments on their efforts to decrease energy and pollution footprints of urban landscapes in both the United States and China.  

This event will be broadcast live on the Wilson Center and CEF's Facebook pages.



  • Ai Luming

    Chairman of the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE)
  • Cindy Ortega

    Chief Sustainability Officer at MGM Resorts International


  • Jennifer L. Turner

    Director, China Environment Forum & Manager, Global Choke Point Initiative


  • Mark Ginsberg

    Senior Fellow, U.S. Green Building Council; Principal, Ginsberg Green Strategies
  • Qiao Hui

    Vice Chairman of SEE Shandong Field Program and President of Shanghai Sunwise Information Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Zhang Li

    Secretary-General, Alashan SEE Foundation
  • Lauren Urbanek

    Senior Energy Policy Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council