China Environment | Wilson Center

China Environment

U.S.-China Cooperation: The Significance of the Joint Agreement on Climate Change and Clean Energy

The deal, a surprise to many, has been called, “historic.” Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. Is this the game changer that those calling for action have been waiting for? Will this create momentum for increased international cooperation? And what does the deal address beyond carbon emissions? China Environment Forum Director, Jennifer Turner provides analysis.

CEF Coal Meeting Quoted in Scientific American's Op-ed

CEF November 30th meeting, "Capping China’s Coal" was quoted in a Scientific American op-ed titled "Can China Cut Coal". Jake Schmidt, International Program Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Yang Fuqiang, NRDC's Senior Advisor on Climate, Energy and Environment, Hu Tao from World Wildlife Fund-US and Kelly Sims Gallagher from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy spoke at the meeting. According to a NRDC report, the vast majority of China's CO2 emissions are a result of coal combustion.

The Ripple Effect of Dams and Water Transfer Projects in China

In China no infrastructure project is too big. China has been accelerating dam construction to meet the country’s electricity hunger and calls for low-carbon power. The South-North Water Transfer project’s second canal came online this month shifting water to China’s parched north. At this meeting, Scott Moore (Harvard University/Council on Foreign Relations) will dive into the environmental and development challenges that this  water transfer project is facing.

CEF director, Jennifer Turner, was interviewed by the KCRW about Sino-US Climate Deal

The historic deal between the US and China promises to set the most ambitious carbon reduction standards for ever in the world’s two top green house gas emitters. In Beijing, it’s all about keeping the economy up and public discontent down. Jennifer Turner, CEF director was interviewed by KCRW radio program for To the Point.

Jennifer Turner, Director of CEF interviewed by Circle of Blue

While no specifics are available on the new water-energy program that will be part of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) this represents an important first step. Both countries have now officially recognized and committed resources to investigating an issue that will continue to grow in importance over time. 

The Washington Post quotes Dr. Jennifer Turner, CEF Director on the implications of the APEC meeting

The Washington Post interviewed Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for a recent article addressing the ramifications of the pledges made by China and the US to reduce emissions at the APEC meeting.

“If China and the United States say, ‘We’re both doing it,’ what does India say?” said Jennifer Turner “No one is hiding behind China now.”

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner, was Interviewed by the Takeaway on the historical China, US Climate Deal Made in APEC

Two of the world's largest carbon polluters, United States and China have reached a landmark agreement on climate change and energy cooperation. In the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Beijing, China, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have set new targets to cut carbon emissions by 2030. The US says it will emit 26 to 28 percent less carbon, and China vowed to have 20 percent of its energy production come from clean sources. CEF Director, Jennifer Turner, was interviewed by the Takeaway Program about the new deal.

CEF Director Jennifer Turner talked in VOA Global on China’s Measures to Combat Smog in Beijing During APEC

As Asia Pacific leaders gathering in Beijing for regional summit this week, the Chinese government has taken a series of steps to try to reduce the capital city’s infinite smog. CEF Director Jennifer Turner said in a VOA Global interview that these short-term measures were important but not sufficient and it would take time for them to take effect. “They are doing almost everything that they can but … the Ministry of Environmental Protection is still not as powerful as it needs to be,” said Turner.

CEF Director Jennifer Turner was Interviewed by Vice News on China’s Air Pollution from Coal-burning

A newly released National Resources Defense Council’s report said 670,000 people died in 2012 because of air pollution generated by coal burning in China. CEF Director Jennifer Turner, when commenting the coal-driven air pollution problem in a Vice News report, emphasized the role of the U.S. consumption in driving China's coal use. “Twenty-five percent of China's electricity production goes to making products for export," said Turner. Also, she pointed out the coal-water choke points China is facing.

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InsightOut Issue 1 - Clearing the Air: Is Natural Gas China's Game Changer for Coal?

Managing Editor, Luan (Jonathan) Dong

Natural gas has emerged as a potential game changer on China’s path to reduce its reliance on coal and shift to cleaner energy sources. This shift, however, is bound to require costly investments, raise energy prices, and dampen economic competitiveness in the short term. Moreover, the government’s rapid and extensive expansion of new energy sources also can create new environmental and social challenges.