United States-China Cooperation

3 Ways the US and China Can Work Together for Responsible Shale Gas Development

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

As China charts its energy future, the country is setting its sights on natural gas. The Chinese government aims to double the share of natural gas in its energy mix by 2015—including unconventional sources like gas from shale and coal-bed methane. Shale gas development in China is still in the nascent, exploratory phases, but estimates place China’s shale gas reserves among the largest in the world.

Jane Nakano

Jane Nakano is a fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her research focus includes nuclear energy policy and technology trends globally, energy security issues in Asia, and unconventional energy development in the United States. Prior to joining CSIS in 2010, Nakano was with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and served as the lead staff on U.S. energy engagements with China and Japan. She was responsible for coordinating DOE engagement in the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue, and U.S.-Japan Energy Dialogue. She also worked on U.S. energy engagement with Indonesia, North Korea, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. From 2001 to 2002, she served at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo as special assistant to the energy attaché. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Contact Info: 

JNakano@csis.org
(202) 775-3210

Panel: China’s Clean Energy Challenges

In a panel at the Brookings Institution moderated by ChinaFAQs expert Kenneth Lieberthal, ChinaFAQs experts Sarah Forbes, Kelly Sims Gallagher, and Jane Nakano discussed the challenges and prospects for China’s clean energy future. Sarah Forbes discussed China’s natural gas sector, focusing especially on shale gas. Kelly Sims Gallagher discussed China’s coal sector and the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies. Jane Nakano discussed China’s nuclear energy future.

For the full transcript and a recording of the panel see: “China’s Clean Energy Challenges

Carla Freeman

Dr. Carla Freeman is Associate Research Professor of China Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and the Director of the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute (FPI). She holds a BA in History from Yale and an MA in China studies and international economics and PhD in international relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Before joining the SAIS faculty, she was a political risk consultant covering China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam, and later worked as a program officer for civil society and community development and sustainability at The Johnson Foundation. Her recent research has examined China’s environmental governance and sustainable development, with her current work focused on the politics of China’s carbon mitigation strategies.

Contact Info: 

cfreeman5@jhu.edu
(202) 663-5890

Clearer Skies Over China – Coping with Dirty Air and Climate Change

Key Points:

  • A U.S.-Chinese team led by the Harvard China Project has developed a comprehensive framework for evaluating the economic and environmental costs and benefits of national policies to control air pollution and CO2 emissions in China.
  • Contrary to some perceptions of Chinese inaction on air pollution, China’s SO2 control policy of 2006-2010 may have been one of the most swiftly successful air pollution policies on record judged by key criteria: sulfur emissions fell sharply and prevented as many as 74,000 premature deaths from fine particle (PM2.5) air pollution in 2010 alone, all at little economic cost.
  • Looking to the future, a modest tax on carbon dioxide, starting small and rising to about $6.50 per ton in 2020 (in 2007 dollars), could lead to a 19% reduction in China’s CO2 emissions in 2020 compared to a scenario with no tax, with little effect on GDP growth and consumption over the long run.
  • Such a carbon tax would also deliver powerful ancillary benefits: reduced concentrations of an array of domestic air pollutants and prevention of as many as 89,000 premature deaths a year by 2020.

Recent Progress Shows China’s Leadership on Carbon Capture and Storage

It is common knowledge that China burns a large amount of coal, with the fuel accounting for nearly 70% of China’s primary energy consumption in recent years. What is less commonly known is that China is also working on ways to reduce the impact of its coal use, including aggressively pursuing research and demonstration of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology.

ChinaFAQs — Short Take

Library File: 

Summary of key information on China’s actions on climate and clean energy and the implications for the United States.

Joshua Busby

Joshua Busby is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service as well as a Crook Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He originally joined the LBJ School faculty in fall 2006 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer. Prior to coming to UT, Dr.

Contact Info: 

LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas
busbyj@mail.utexas.edu
512-471-8946

U.S. and China Moving Forward on Steps for HFC Phase Down

Building on the joint statement released by President Obama and President Xi in June, the two leaders have released another joint statement on the phase down of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). The recent joint statement shows that next steps will involve the creation of “an open-ended contact group to consider all relevant issues.”

4 Promising Themes Emerge in U.S.-China Agreements at Strategic and Economic Dialogue

This has been a big week for U.S.-China collaboration on climate change. Yesterday the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), which was established in April by the Joint Statement on Climate Change, presented their report on bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Not only does it lay out actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a close reading sheds light on important themes for the future of U.S.-China collaboration on climate change.