United States-China Cooperation

China Signs Paris Agreement, Will Encourage Others to Join

This post originally appeared on the World Resources Institute’s live blog covering the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To follow the signing ceremony via WRI’s live blog, click here.

The signing of the landmark international climate change agreement reached in Paris in December is taking place today at the United Nations in New York. China is represented by Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of China, and Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Zhang said that after China signs the Paris Agreement today, it will work hard to earnestly implement it. Zhang said China will finalize its internal process to join the agreement before it hosts the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, and will encourage other G20 members to quickly join the agreement as well.

U.S. and China To Sign, Join Paris Agreement This Year, Deepen Cooperation on Climate and Clean Energy

The United States and China have issued a joint presidential statement confirming that they will each sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and take steps to join the agreement as early as possible this year, and calling on other countries to do the same. This statement builds on the action generated by the presidential joint statements over the last two years, which has been an important catalyst of international action on climate change. The new showing of mutual confidence and continued commitment will contribute to worldwide momentum to tackle climate change and implement the Paris Agreement.

5 Questions: What Does China’s New Five-Year Plan Mean for Climate Action?

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

China has officially unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which will guide the country’s economic and social development from 2016 through 2020. This latest edition builds on progress made over the last five years, and makes clear that environmental stewardship is an increasingly integral component of China’s development.

The plan lays out targets and measures to address several sustainability challenges—including climate change, air pollution, water, urbanization, transportation and more. The new plan’s high-level targets and policies will continue to strengthen China’s efforts to shift to a more sustainable model of growth and deliver on its climate commitments. Here’s a look at the highlights and importance of the plan for China’s action on energy and climate change.

Press Call on China's Climate Action and the 13th Five Year Plan

China’s 13th Five Year Plan, to be released in the coming days, will provide a blueprint for the country’s economic, social, and environmental development through 2020. More specific plans for energy and other sectors are expected following the main plan’s release. The plan comes in the context of China’s increasing climate action in recent years, with three key trends emerging: China is making progress in rebalancing its economy away from heavy industry toward services, limiting coal use, and expanding its use of non-fossil energy.

To discuss these trends and provide an overview of the Five Year Plan process, ChinaFAQs hosted a press teleconference on March 4th.

For the audio of the press call, click here.

Ranping Song

Ranping Song is the Developing Country Climate Action Manager at the World Resources Institute. Working with the International Climate Action Initiative of WRI’s Global Climate Program, Ranping serves as the global focal point across WRI for work on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and developing country actions. He engages with and coordinates teams across WRI on the full range of issues addressed in INDCs, including mitigation, adaptation and finance. He also coordinates with in-country climate team leads in WRI’s country offices and supports them on the development and implementation of climate strategies in developing countries. From 2012 to 2015, Ranping served as the Team Lead for China Climate Program, where he led the development and implementation of climate strategy in China. Before then, he served as an Associate and Program Manager for the GHG Protocol in China.

Prior to joining WRI, Ranping was the China Campaign Manager for The Climate Group in Beijing. There he worked to engage companies and government agencies to promote climate friendly products in order to reduce carbon footprints. Before then, he worked for the United Nations Development Group in New York.

Ranping has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Lanzhou University.

Contact Info: 

World Resources Institute
rsong@wri.org
+1 (202) 729-7896

China’s Climate Action: Looking Back, and Looking Ahead to the 13th Five-Year Plan

This post originally appeared on WRI’s Insights blog:

In a few days, China will release its 13th Five-Year Plan, a new economic, social and environmental blueprint for the country’s development through 2020.

After years of astronomical growth, China’s economic expansion has begun to slow. But instead of doubling down on the fossil fuel-intensive strategy that helped produce the country’s runaway growth, China’s leaders have stated that the old growth model has run its course, and that the country will build toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable model of development. Recent signs show that the country is already beginning to shift in this direction, and the new Five-Year Plan provides the opportunity to build on that progress.

Data Transparency: New Dynamic at COP-21 in Paris

From the Paris Climate Negotiations

COP-21 provided key insights into China’s evolving view on emissions MRV as national leaders committed to continue building monitoring systems and implementing verification protocols, including third-party verification, particularly for its seven regional pilot emissions trading schemes (ETS) and planned national program. In COP-21’s second week, the Chinese delegation hosted a “China MRV System” side event that brought together academics, government officials and policy experts to discuss China’s capacity to monitor and verify carbon emissions.

Where Wai (outer) meets Nei (inner): How China’s international and domestic policy positions reinforce each other

From the Paris Climate Negotiations

National goal-setting—an expected key outcome from the Paris climate talks currently underway—is a common fixture of policy-making in China and many other countries. Collectively, the current pledges still show significant gaps toward meeting long-term climate goals. Nevertheless, they represent an important increase in scope and ambition over those pledged in advance of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, and those established earlier under the Kyoto Protocol. There is great importance in—and a growing consensus around—enhancing these previous rounds of commitments through a pledge-and-review institution, which if designed properly can also mobilize domestic constituencies even across a wide range of political systems. As China and other countries begin to consider their next steps, we explain here the interaction of international and domestic policy-making in setting climate action targets in China.

China, the U.S., and France: Paris and the Road Ahead

While the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (for short, COP21) officially begins on Monday, November 30th in Paris, the groundwork for a successful outcome and future effort has been laid over the past few years. Along with the United States, France and other major economies, China has played an integral role in building momentum toward a global climate agreement. In the past, some have hesitated because one or another country was said not to be taking action, but that is no longer an issue, and Paris points the way forward to the stronger action needed by all countries.

Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon is Vice Chair of Climate and Sustainable Urbanization at the Paulson Institute, where she provides overall strategy and coordination for the Institute’s climate change, air quality, and sustainable urbanization programs both in the US and China. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper’s “Energy Experts.”

Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Before joining the Paulson Institute, she was Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy at Next Generation, a non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco, where she worked on California policy development as well as large-scale national communications and research projects. While at Next Generation, she helped launch and lead the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change.

Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, where helped develop and author policy recommendations related to the Congressional cap-and-trade negotiations, Gulf oil spill, and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act implementation. Prior to CAP, Gordon was the Co-Director of the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance). She still serves on the Apollo Alliance board, as well as on the board of Vote Solar.

Gordon earned a law degree and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

Contact Info: 

The Paulson Institute
kgordon@paulsoninstitute.org