US-China Climate Change Announcement Signals New Phase for Global Action

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

Nearly a year ago, the United States and China laid out their national climate action plans for the coming years. These were the first in what is now a substantial list of national climate action plans—plans that will form the basis of a new international climate agreement to be finalized in Paris later this year. Now, the world’s two biggest emitters have taken the next step by cementing their plans, jointly announcing key actions they’ll take to achieve their national goals, and clarifying their views on the upcoming Paris agreement.

Chinese and U.S. Cities, States and Provinces Announce Climate Targets and Extensive Cooperation

At this week’s U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles, eleven cities and provinces from across China committed to reach a peak in their carbon dioxide emissions before the national goal to peak around 2030. The cities and provinces—along with eighteen U.S. counterparts, which announced emissions reduction targets—also pledged to track and report their emissions, establish climate action plans, and enhance U.S.-China cooperation at the subnational level.

China Is Raising Its Climate Ambition, Experts Say

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China is increasing its ambition in addressing climate change, and it has a strong national interest in sustaining its actions. That’s according to a recent panel of experts convened by WRI’s ChinaFAQs project and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

China Announces Next Steps in Shift to Low-Carbon Path

As China unveiled its contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate negotiations, affirming the pledges it made in its joint announcement with the U.S. in November, a spokesman for Christian Aid, Mohamed Adow, said, “The pledge marks a significant shift away from a fossil fuel-intensive development path to one focused on renewables on a scale the world has never yet seen.” Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute called it “a serious and credible” effort, and said “China’s commitment was made possible by its ambitious clean energy policies and investments enacted over the past decade.”

Strategic and Economic Dialogue announces climate progress, ChinaFAQs and EESI hold briefing

For the full briefing notice including speakers, topics, and the video recording, click here

At this week’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C., the two countries built on their robust cooperation on climate change and clean energy. The U.S. and China pledged to work together to address obstacles to an “ambitious global climate agreement” at this December’s Conference of the Parties in Paris. They also agreed to continue to discuss each country’s post-2020 plans, and announced a new dialogue on domestic policy. The countries highlighted their progress on the initiatives they jointly announced in November, such as phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and expanding the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).

US-China climate cooperation could be model for more bilateral deals

This op-ed originally appeared on The Hill’s Congress Blog:

When U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly announced major targets to combat climate change last November, they did more than chart an ambitious course for their two countries. The leaders of the world’s two biggest economies – which are also the planet’s two biggest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters – showed a way forward for U.S. bilateral cooperation with other countries on energy and climate.

China's Climate and Energy Policies: Looking for the Best New Initiatives

Key Points:

  • China has been experimenting with many different policies to control carbon and energy intensity
  • By updating building codes to international best practices, China could save in 20 years an equivalent of the amount of CO2 that would be emitted by 15 large coal fired power plants over 20 years.
  • If China continues to improve fuel efficiency standards at its current rate, it will save the equivalent of the amount of CO2 that would be emitted by 10 large coal fired power plants over 20 years.
  • By expanding from pilots to a national level policy, the use of environmental priorities in selecting what electricity sources to use to respond to increased demand could significantly reduce coal use in the power sector.

5 ChinaFAQs Experts Testify Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

The purpose of this hearing was to examine China’s domestic and international clean energy policies, as well as the state of U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy, in order to provide recommendations to Congress.

The following are short summaries and links to the testimony of the six ChinaFAQs experts:

China's New Clean Air Action Plan

China has recently announced a plan to tackle air pollution across the country. The plan includes setting regional targets on coal use and taking high-polluting vehicles from the streets. The plan also sets target levels for regional atmospheric pollution, with particular attention paid to reducing particulate matter, which is an especially severe problem in China.

Bus Rapid Transit in China – On the Way

This post originally appeared on

The rapid growth of bus rapid transit (BRT) in China is leading to future opportunities to improve the overall quality of sustainable transport in China. Although the debate on who has the right-of-way on city streets remains, cities could still exert the maximum benefit of BRT by prioritizing the integration of BRT with other sustainable modes.