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June 28, 2016

Research Dialogue on Climate Change, Spring 2016

Research Dialogue on Climate Change, Spring 2016

On June 28 to 30, 2016, the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues hosted a two-day research dialogue on climate change. Professor Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University), in collaboration with Professor Zhang Xiliang (Tsinghua University) convened a group of six energy and climate experts from the United States and China for a structured dialogue around key academic and policy issues relating to climate change. The discussion also included a closed consultation with Washington-area scholars and stakeholders. At the conclusion of their meetings, the research group proposed three overarching research themes to be developed further at their next meeting in fall 2016, summarized below.

Developing Research Agenda and Topics

The Global Agenda for Energy Finance

The research team plans to explore how existing multilateral funding structures, fossil fuel investments, and innovative incentives for green finance will shape the climate change policy agenda going forward.

Clean Energy Technology Transfer

The research team plans to examine experiences in U.S.-China clean energy technology cooperation and transfer and lessons learned that can be used to expand other international technology partnerships.

Post-Paris Policy Implementation

The research team plans to examine the development of China’s cap and trade system, soon to the world’s largest carbon market, including implications for power sector reform, technology deployment, competitiveness and trade, and international linkage.

Policy Consultation

A discussion held on June 29, 2016 at the Mortara Center for International Studies brought the research group together with some 20 policy stakeholders spanning government, private, and non-governmental organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. Participants shared their perspectives on a range of climate change issues related to U.S.-China dialogue and provided concrete feedback on the research group’s developing research agenda. There was wide agreement that focused research projects bringing together scholars from both countries has the potential to advance U.S.-China dialogue on climate change in significant ways.

Next steps

The climate research group will meet again at Tsinghua University in Beijing from October 10-11, 2016 to further develop the joint projects identified during the Washington, D.C. meetings.