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November 2, 2017

Georgetown U.S.-China Research Dialogue on Climate Change

Climate Technology Cooperation, Market Design, and Financing after Paris: The Evolving Role of China and the United States in the Global Arena

Georgetown U.S.-China Research Dialogue on Climate Change

On November 2-3, 2017, the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global issues held a two-day research dialogue on climate change in Washington, D.C. Professor Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University), in collaboration with Professor Zhang Xiliang (Tsinghua University) convened the final meeting of the research group, which includes six energy and climate experts from the United States and China.

Group participants are jointly writing research papers to inform experts and a wider public both about key issues in climate policy and about the wider contours of U.S.-China dialogue and engagement on the environment. The topics are organized under three broad themes: the global agenda for climate finance, clean energy technology cooperation, and market-based climate policy implementation. The participants gave public presentations of their research results and held a briefing at the Department of State.

Professor Lewis said of the presentations, “Given the shift in climate policy participation under the new U.S. administration, it is perhaps more important now than ever to have platforms such as this Georgetown group to advance climate change policy research and dialogue with Chinese counterparts and demonstrate that there are still ways the U.S. and China can work together.”

Presentation of Research Results

At a public presentation given on November 2, 2017, at the Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University invited Washington-area policy stakeholders and the academic community to hear from the research group on their findings and forthcoming papers.

Professors Zhang Xiliang (Tsinghua University) and Billy Pizer (Duke University) presented on designing China’s national carbon market, with particular focus on the emissions trading system (ETS) and lessons learned from the United States and other pilot programs. Professor Qi Shaozhou (Wuhan University) presented his research on China’s clean energy investment trends, focusing on the impacts of R&D and venture capital support on China’s new energy companies, while Melanie Hart (Center for American Progress) presented her work with Professor Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University) examining China’s dirtier energy investment trends. Their work focused on overseas coal investments in Southeast Asia and demonstrated the growing role China is playing providing coal-based technologies to developing countries.

Professor Lewis gave the final presentation on her work with Professor Hao Min (University of International Relations) on innovative models of IP management in cross-border technology collaborations, including lessons learned from the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, and the importance of technology cooperation in international climate policy.

On November 3, the research group briefed Department of State officials on the key findings of their joint research and had the opportunity to discuss areas where the United States and China can continue to work together.

“The successive meetings of our research group held in Washington and Beijing over the last two years and the ability to engage with climate and energy policymakers and stakeholders from both countries have uniquely positioned the group to advance key research and policy proposals,” Lewis observed. “I’m pleased to see the progress that our climate research dialogue has made, the relationships we have built, and the research collaborations that have resulted. ”

Concluding Steps

In the coming months, research group participants will finalize their joint research papers and plan to publish their work. Previous meeting summaries are available.


Joanna Lewis is an associate professor of science, technology, and international affairs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She serves as convener of the Georgetown U.S.-China Research Group on Climate Change. Her research, focused primarily on China, examines clean energy innovation, international climate and energy cooperation, and renewable energy and climate policy design.

Zhang Xiliang is professor and executive director of the Institute of Energy, Environment and the Economy at Tsinghua University. He serves as co-convener of the Georgetown U.S.-China Research Group on Climate Change. His research interests include energy technology innovation, integrated assessment of energy and climate policies, and renewable energy.

Melanie Hart is director of China policy and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Her work focuses on U.S. foreign policy toward China, particularly around issues of energy, climate change, and cross-border investment.

Hao Min is the vice dean of the Department of International Politics at the University of International Relations in Beijing. Her research focuses on the intellectual property rights system in China.

Qi Shaozhou is professor and director of the Climate Change and Energy Economics Study Centre at Wuhan University. His research focuses on low carbon policy and economics.

Billy Pizer is a professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. His current research examines public policies to promote clean energy, the impact of environmental regulation and climate policy on economic competitiveness, and the design of market-based environmental policies.