It’s getting harder for the U.S. to use Chinese inaction as an excuse.
China’s emissions trading program is slowly forward toward implementation. It’s by no means a perfect program, but it should result in significant emissions reductions. The Chinese program has some features that make it less cost-effective. Nonetheless, researchers at RFF concluded that the climate benefits will be three times the cost of emission reductions. They didn’t …CONTINUE READING
Why are so many new coal power plants still being constructed in China?
During this Earth Week, it is encouraging to see glimmers of environmental ambition in various jurisdictions around the world. The EU is rolling out a European Green Deal with the goal of “striving to be the first climate-neutral continent.” South Korea, the world’s 7th largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, recently announced a 2050 net zero …CONTINUE READING
China can lead the way in 2020, but will it?
China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has the opportunity to enhance global ambition on climate change action this coming year in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The question is whether it will do so. I attended COP25 in Madrid this month with colleagues and students on behalf of UCLA’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and …CONTINUE READING
Welcoming a famous new faculty member and a critical new initiative.
I have two exciting announcements to make. The first is that Jerry Brown has accepted an appointment as visiting professor at the law school and the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at Berkeley. That appointment would be exciting enough. But it goes hand in hand with my other news: the public launch of the California-China …CONTINUE READING
China’s Energy Transition: Q&A with Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and Asia Senior Strategic Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
Barbara Finamore is an attorney and leading expert for Natural Resources Defense Council on a wide range of China climate, energy, and environmental issues. I worked with Finamore to found NRDC’s Beijing office in 2006. In her new book Will China Save the Planet?, Finamore explores efforts by China, today the world’s largest emitter of …CONTINUE READING
Isabel Hilton is a leading journalist whose current work spotlights the impact of China’s growing economy on people and the environment. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the New Yorker, and many other publications. In 2006, Hilton launched chinadialogue.net, a groundbreaking website that publishes reporting and analysis …CONTINUE READING
Climate Action from the World’s Largest Emitter
Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit came to a close this past Friday in San Francisco. A large delegation of Chinese government officials, researchers, business leaders and civil society representatives were on hand for the proceedings. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, reaffirmed China’s commitment to action on climate change. While Xie had …CONTINUE READING
America’s Retreat from Global Climate Change Action Cedes Leadership to China (co-authored with Ann Carlson)
China loomed large in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He accused the country of stealing American jobs and manipulating its currency for trade advantage. He famously tweeted that global warming was a concept created by the Chinese to “make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” At its core, Trump’s argument was that China had grown strong at the United …CONTINUE READING
The Long Road from Copenhagen to Paris
Six years ago in Copenhagen, China was seen as the spoiler. A widely read article claimed that China had “wrecked” the Copenhagen deal. One of China’s lead negotiators suggested that American envoy Todd Stern was “ignorant,” lacking in “common sense” or “extremely irresponsible.” What a difference a few years can make. On Saturday in Paris, …CONTINUE READING
Can 200 million viewers (and counting) be wrong?
Last Saturday evening, my research assistant (a wonderful JD student raised and educated in China) sent me a message: “This is a link to a documentary directed by Chai Jing (柴静). It has raised public concern about air pollution.” In perhaps the understatement of the year, she added: “Many Chinese people have been watching it.” …CONTINUE READING