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February 9, 2018

Responding To: Building a Career in Climate Change Research

Climate Change and Energy as a Focal Point for Cooperation

Melanie Hart

I have been working on U.S.-China issues and China analysis for about 15 years, and I first started working on climate and energy issues more deeply when I came to the Center for American Progress (CAP) in 2011. CAP was interested in doing more work on U.S.-China green energy competition, specifically examining what advances China was making in green energy and ensuring that the United States was keeping pace and gaining an edge in the industry. When I started doing a deep dive on China’s energy sector and policies and comparing them with the United States, it was a time when energy was the cooperative part of the relationship and climate was the difficult part. CAP quickly expanded to try to use energy as a wedge to find areas of closer cooperation on climate. We began running some dialogues on climate change, mapping out some of our commonalities and differences on national climate negotiations and putting together our clean energy work with broader climate work, and this enabled more diplomatic work with China.

Melanie Hart is director of China policy and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. She is a participant of the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues faculty research group on climate change.

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