China and the EU took important steps forward this week.
This week has seen some big climate moves on opposite sides of the world. The EU has proposed a major new climate plan. Meanwhile, China is ready to go live with its emissions trading system. The U.S. is at risk of being left behind. The EU’s proposal is impressive. The goal is to cut net …CONTINUE READING
Nine key developments to watch for on the environmental front.
2020 was a tumultuous year. Hopefully, 2021 will be balmier. Widespread use of vaccines will hopefully tame the COVID-19 pandemic, and maybe the political world will settle down a bit too. Here are nine key things to watch for in terms of environmental policy. The Georgia runoff elections. Currently, the Republicans look likely to control …CONTINUE READING
New climate pledges from China and the EU make the U.S. the only jurisdiction among the top three emitters without a carbon neutrality target
The biggest climate policy announcement of the week was not California Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order to ban the in-state sale of gas-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035, although this move is a major advance for climate policy. Rather, the most important climate news was China’s announcement of an “aim” of achieving carbon neutrality by …CONTINUE READING
Chinese policymakers learn from California’s pioneering work on air and climate regulation.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new report on Coordinated Governance of Air and Climate Pollutants: Lessons from the California Experience – authored by me, David Pettit at NRDC, and Siyi Shen. The report is an effort to introduce California’s experience in air and climate regulation to Chinese regulators and researchers. In …CONTINUE READING
Pressing Both Countries Toward Carbon Neutrality.
U.S.-China relations are perhaps at their lowest point in decades and there is no end in sight at the moment. Each week brings a barrage of new U.S. federal policy measures aimed at China. Against this backdrop, ChinaFile recently asked a group of China experts to opine on the prospects for U.S.-China relations in coming …CONTINUE READING
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 so many coal plants are still being built 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
New CLEE and NRGI “FAQ” released today addresses common misconceptions
Co-authored with Ted Lamm and Patrick Heller (advisor at the Natural Resource Governance Institute and a senior visiting fellow at CLEE) The global transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) will require the production of hundreds of millions of batteries. The need for such a massive deployment raises questions from the general public …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
As international climate action falters, the two climate leaders can fill the void
Note: this post is co-authored with Fan Dai, director of the University of California’s California-China Climate Institute. With the high-profile failure of last week’s UN climate conference in Madrid, the focus of international action on climate change will need to shift to political leaders of key global economies. We attended the conference in Madrid on …CONTINUE READING