Seminar About China and the Environment
China, the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter, is leading a global clean energy revolution, transitioning away from coal and leading the development of a global system of green finance.
But as leading China environmental expert Barbara Finamore explains, the fundamental economic and political challenges that China faces in addressing its domestic environmental crisis threaten to derail its low-carbon energy transition. Even so, China's leaders understand that transforming the world's second largest economy from one dependent on highly polluting heavy industry to one focused on clean energy, services and innovation is essential, not only to the future of the planet but to China's own prosperity. Moreover, the country’s massive investments have set in motion a dramatic downward spiral in the cost of renewable energy and electric vehicles that is reverberating throughout the world.
Finamore will discuss crucial questions and the implications they have for the world, including: how did China evolve from a climate change resister to a forceful advocate of global climate governance? Can it overcome obstacles hindering its decarbonization efforts? As it greens its own economy, will China outsource its CO2 emissions, through fossil fuel development, to other countries? What’s driving the world’s clean energy revolution what role can other countries play?
Asia Senior Strategic Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)., Natural Resources Defense Council
Barbara Finamore founded Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) China program, focusing on climate, clean energy, environmental protection, and urban solutions in China. She also leads NRDC’s Green Ports project in China, which aims to reduce air pollution caused by shipping and port-related activity. Before joining NRDC, Finamore worked for the United Nations Development Programme, the Center for International Environmental Law, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior. She has also served as president and chair of the Professional Association for China’s Environment. In addition, she is the co-founder and president of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance. In 2017, she was named a member of Foreign Policy’s The U.S.-China 50, a group of 50 individuals who are powering the world's most complex and consequential relationship. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and is based in the Boston area.