Renewables and Alternative Energy

Report from Cancun: China’s Climate Progress Since Copenhagen

As negotiators arrive in Cancun for the next round of global climate talks, speculation once again hovers around China’s positions. China is a tough negotiator, and we can once again see it expressing concern about its core issues, including developed country mitigation commitments, technology transfer and the adequacy of financing. But as we look to negotiating positions, it is also worth stepping back for a minute to reflect on what China is doing domestically and how China’s efforts to promote energy efficiency and low carbon technologies can contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.

Must Read on Chinese Coal Challenge: James Fallows Addresses De-Carbonizing Coal in the Latest Atlantic Monthly

Anyone interested in how China can both use coal and ultimately reduce its carbon emissions should read the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly. James Fallows, who recently spent three years living in China, getting a handle on how things actually work beyond the rhetoric (see his 2009 book Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China), goes deep into the reasons for China’s coal dependence and the way it can be addressed through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Two International Conferences in China Highlight the Importance of Wind Energy

While the UN climate talks at Tianjin went slowly, a trip to China offered the opportunity for the world to see the successes in wind technology development and deployment experienced there and throughout the region. This progress was highlighted in both a wind-focused side event at the Tianjin conference that Joanna Lewis organized for Georgetown University, and at the annual China Windpower 2010 conference held in Beijing the week after the climate talks.

Tianjin WRI Side Event 2010: Wang - Guiyang

Download from the link above “Lessons Learned from Guiyang Case”, a presentation by Renmin University’s Wang Ke, Fu Sha and WRI China Country Director Zou Ji from “Tools for a Low-Carbon Pathway in China”, WRI’s Side Event at the UNFCCC conference in Tianjin, China.

Tianjin WRI Side Event 2010: Song - GHG Capacity

Download from the link above “Building up Capacity to Support the Control of Sectoral GHG Emissions: a Case Study for the Cement Industry”, a presentation by WRI’s Song Ranping from “Tools for a Low-Carbon Pathway in China”, WRI’s Side Event at the UNFCCC conference in Tianjin, China.

Tianjin WRI Side Event 2010: Fong - Local Target Planning

Download from the link above “Building Low Carbon Provinces and Cities: Practical Tools to Support Local Target Planning”, a presentation by WRI China’s Fong Wee Kean from “Tools for a Low-Carbon Pathway in China”, WRI’s Side Event at the UNFCCC conference in Tianjin, China.

Tianjin WRI Side Event 2010: Zou Ji - Low Carbon Pathways

Download from the link above “Low Carbon Development in China: Vision, Issues, and Latest Progresses”, a presentation by WRI China Country Director Zou Ji from “Tools for a Low-Carbon Pathway in China”, WRI’s Side Event at the UNFCCC conference in Tianjin, China.

Updates from Tianjin: Progress on the GreenGen IGCC project

Having the intercessional UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in China this week – the last stop before ministers and heads of state meet in Cancun for the sixteenth Conference of Parties (COP-16) – provides a timely opportunity for participants to witness firsthand elements of China’s clean energy and climate policies in action.

GE Chair Jeff Immelt Criticizes Outdated US Energy Policy, Urges Better US Regulatory Structure and Support for Innovators to Expand Clean Energy

The U.S. energy regulatory system is “a relic of the 1860s”, according to Jeff Immelt, Chairman of GE, one of the World’s largest manufacturers of new clean energy technology. In a conference in Washington, DC last week, he urged the U.S. government to take positive action in the United States to support clean technology. Yes, said Immelt, China is a competitor, but not just China. Countries such as Canada and Australia also “have much simpler regulatory structures for energy and are moving more quickly.”

Elizabeth Wilson

Dr. Elizabeth J. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She holds a doctorate in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and masters in Human Ecology from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. Her research focuses on the development of carbon-managed energy systems. Recent work examines the regulatory and legal contexts for the deployment of carbon capture and sequestration technologies and evaluation of energy efficiency programs in consumer-owned utilities. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota she worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Contact Info: 

University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs
ewilson@umn.edu
(612) 626-4410