WASHINGTON (July 31, 2010) – Officials from Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission (DRC) and Chengdu City DRC officials as well as technical experts from the China Academy of Sciences and the Guangdong Climate Center participated in a two-week study tour to the USA at the end of July. The delegation traveled to three US states, namely, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, to learn about energy and climate action planning. The study group also met officials from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington DC.
Global Environmental Institute (GEI) and US-based think-tank, Center for Climate Strategies, co-organized and co-facilitated the study tour.
During the study tour, the delegation gained an understanding of Center for Climate Strategies’ contributions and accomplishments to state-level climate action planning. City and provincial officials in the delegation expressed a need for increased communication and exchange on climate action planning and implementation.
The study tour will be followed up by a summary meeting in Guangzhou in late August that will invite experts from the National Development and Reform Commission’s Climate Change Department. Additionally, GEI will facilitate technical cooperation between the Center for Climate Strategies and experts from the Institute of Policy and Management and the Guangdong Energy Conversion Institute at CAS, particularly in microeconomic analysis and macroeconomic modeling. In the future, GEI hopes to design and implement provincial level climate action planning in China, with Guangdong as a pilot province, by adapting US state-level climate action planning to the Chinese context.
Special audiences and presentations:
- Tom Peterson, president and CEO of Center for Climate Strategies, introduced the “Energy and Climate Action Plans” of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Chinese delegation.
- Tom Congdon, chair of the New York State Energy Planning Board and Peter Iwanowicz, Deputy Secretary for the Environment, discussed New York state’s energy and climate policy.
- New York City Mayor’s Office presented the city’s climate change adaptation planning process.
- John Hanger, Secretary of the Pennsylvania State Department of Environmental Protection, and Shari Wilson, Maryland State Department of Environmental Protection, discussed Pennsylvania’s and Maryland’s respective energy and climate change planning process, and the formation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade system in 10 northeast and mid-Atlantic states.
- Officials from the EPA and DOE opened a discussion about cooperation with relevant Chinese government institutions on climate change and energy development.
Special field visits:
- Harrisburg, PA, biodiesel factory and farm and coal-fired power plant, learn about the state’s clean energy production and model for using biogas in agricultural waste management and electricity production.
- Annapolis, MD, Chesapeake Environment Center, learn about the Center’s work to protect the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Delegation at the New York City Mayor’s Office – GEI 2010
Symposium on US-China Climate Cooperation
On July 29, GEI and the Center for Climate Strategies held a special symposium with the Woodrow Wilson Center called “China Environment Forum: US-China Sub-National Cooperation on Climate Action Planning.” The symposium was attended by representatives of Chinese and US environmental NGOs and research institutions, who inquired about GEI’s programs and discussed the climate policy stakeholder consultation process.
The experts shared potential avenues for China-US cooperation on climate change as follows:
- GEI’s Executive Director Mme Jin Jiaman introduced GEI’s work in combating climate change.
- Dr. Liao Cuiping of the Guangzhou Energy Conversion Institute at the China Academy of Sciences and Zhu Xiaowen of the Chengdu DRC discussed climate change policy and low-carbon roadmaps for Guangdong and Sichuan Provinces respectively.
- Experts from the China Academy of Sciences Institute of Policy and Management and the North China Electric Power University discussed approaches to offering technical support and metrical analysis for government decision maker.
GEI’s Mme JIN presents at the China Environment Forum Symposium on “US-China Sub-National Cooperation on Climate Action Planning.” – GEI 2010
Closing Reception Focuses on Cooperation
On July 30, the Center for Climate Strategies closed the study tour with a special reception featuring high level experts and diplomats including, Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative for Global International Affairs at the US State Department, Li Haiyan, counselor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States, Shenyu Belsky of the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, and Zhang Jiqiang of the Blue Moon Fund.
The spirit of the reception was definitely positive as both Ms. Lewis and Counselor Li expressed hope that China and the US could initiate pragmatic state-province cooperation in the areas of energy and climate change. Upon closing of the reception, Mr. Peterson and Ms. Jin handed out certificates for the “China-US Technical Exchange on Climate Change Mitigation” to the delegates, marking the official completion of the study tour.
(From Left to right: Tom Peterson, President and CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies; Jin Jiaman, GEI Executive Director; Ms. Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative for Global International Affairs of the US State Department; and Counselor Li Haiyan of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the US on July 30).
(The delegation and experts enjoying the closing reception – GEI 2010)