Expert Blog

ChinaFAQs experts react to the latest headlines about China climate and energy issues.

Paul Joffe
November 13, 2014

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

The American expression “now you’re talking,” actually means “now you’re getting real.” Getting real on steps to confront climate change means moving from talking to action—big action.

And that’s the signal out of Beijing from yesterday’s summit between President Obama and President Xi Jinping. President Obama pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. President Xi announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions around 2030—with the intention to peak sooner—and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030. Next steps will be important, but this accord signals a significant move forward for climate action—in the United States, in China, and internationally.

Lauren Zelin, Paul Joffe and Geoffrey Henderson
November 07, 2014

When President Obama and President Xi Jinping meet next week in Beijing, climate change and energy will be important topics of discussion. As the world’s two biggest emitters, leadership by the U.S. and China is critical as each country’s actions are closely watched by the other and the international community. In addition, interest was heightened when a senior Chinese official talked about the possibility of peak emissions in China at the UN Climate Summit in September.

Geoffrey Henderson
September 24, 2014

Li Junfeng, director general of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy, says China is studying its climate action options. In an article on the UN Climate Summit, The New York Times reports that Li said that China will choose an option based on how stringent the US plan to cut emissions by 2050 is. Read more…

Nathaniel Aden
September 22, 2014

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

The Long March was a watershed moment in Chinese history—the moment Mao Zedong’s nascent Communist Party escaped disaster in 1934 en route to forming a new nation. Fast forward 80 years, and China is poised to embark on a new Long March – but this time away from climate change and environmental damage toward a sustainable future.

Geoffrey Henderson
September 19, 2014

China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, held a press conference Friday and made statements that may preview China’s approach to the UN Climate Summit on September 23rd.

Read more…

Barbara Finamore, Kate Logan, Marie McMullen, Tianshu Sun, Wang Yan, Wu Qi, Zhang Xiya, and Yuelin Zhou
September 17, 2014

This post originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog:

Though a burst of clear skies on Monday allowed Beijingers to marvel at a magnificent Mid-Autumn Festival moon, a blanket of smog choked the capital the next morning, reminding citizens of China’s grave air pollution woes.

Huei Peng
August 29, 2014

In 1896, American engineers faced a dilemma: what should power their new invention, the automobile? Henry Ford’s idea of a gasoline-powered car persuaded Thomas Edison not to pursue an electric model. Over a century later, the threat of climate change and the potential environmental benefits of electric vehicles have led the world’s two largest CO2 emitters to make the development of EVs part of their efforts to transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Geoffrey Henderson
July 10, 2014

Cooperation on climate change and air pollution were important themes of this week’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Beijing, an annual meeting among high-level diplomats from both nations. The U.S. and Chinese representatives discussed their respective efforts to develop targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and announced a series of agreements under the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group.