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.

The China Environment Forum invited three experts—one from the United States, two from China—to discuss whether China will be able to achieve its monumental shift to natural gas.

  • Hengwei Liu from Harbin Institute of Technology lays the groundwork on China’s current natural gas supply and demand.
  • Xizhou Zhou from IHS CERA argues optimistically that China’s energy market still has room to incorporate expansive natural gas, even if institutional reforms are absent.
  • World Resources Institute’s Sarah Forbes elaborates on how U.S.-China natural gas cooperation can benefit both countries.

Clearing the Air: Is Natural Gas China's Game Changer for Coal? is the first issue of CEF’s InsightOut series designed to tap on-the-ground expertise to understand the complex energy and environmental challenges facing China. As with much of our work, we cast an eye on opportunities for collaboration between American and Chinese researchers, business, NGOs, and governments.