Robert C. Stowe| Aug. 01, 2019
The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements conducted a research workshop on July 18–19, 2019 titled “Subnational Climate Change Policy in China.” Tsinghua University’s Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy — directed by Professor Zhang Xiliang — hosted and co-sponsored the workshop. The Harvard Global Institute provided major support for the project.
Twenty-five experts from China, Europe, Canada, India, and Australia participated, in addition to Robert Stavins and Robert Stowe, Director and Co-Director of the Harvard Project. Chinese participants included researchers from Wuhan University in Hubei Province, Fudan University in Shanghai, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), as well as Beijing-based researchers at Tsinghua University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other institutes. Among the participants were He Jiankun, Deputy Director of the National Experts Committee of Climate Change — and Professor and Director of the Low Carbon Economy Laboratory at Tsinghua University; and Jiang Zhaoli, Deputy Director General of the Climate Change Department in the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
Nine students observed the workshop, including an undergraduate at Harvard College and a former Harvard visiting undergraduate student who will matriculate at Harvard Kennedy School in fall 2020. The Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF’s) China Program hosted a dinner for workshop participants, among whom were several EDF-based experts.
Climate change is a global commons problem and, as such, requires cooperation at the highest jurisdictional level — that is, international cooperation among national governments — if it is to be adequately addressed. However, national governments acting independently, as well as subnational governments, can also significantly advance efforts to mitigate climate change. Provinces and municipalities around the world have undertaken initiatives — sometimes working together across national boundaries — to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. These includes jurisdictions in the largest-emitting countries — China, the United States, and India — as well as in the European Union.
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Following are links to materials for the July 18–19, 2019 workshop on subnational climate-change policy in China: