2015 U.S.-China Forum: Spotlight on Climate Change at University of Chicago, 19 May 2015

The Energy, Environment, and Climate Nexus in China:
Where Opportunities Converge

Tuesday, 19 May 2015, 8:30am-3pm


On almost any major issue, from climate change and urbanization to international trade and peace and security, how the U.S. and China work together (or don’t) will shape our global future.  This inaugural U.S.-China Forum takes up one of these major issues: climate change. What is the health and economic toll of climate change and associated environmental challenges? What key energy and environmental policy decisions have been made, and will need to be made, in order to forge a sustainable path toward long-term economic growth? And how can the two countries work together to build the kind of lasting relationship that is needed to address climate change, and other vital global challenges?

About the Series

The U.S.-China Forum is sponsored by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Chicago Office of Global Engagement. The annual Forum brings together renowned experts—including faculty from the University of Chicago and scholars from China—for high-level engagements focused on issues of importance to both countries and, by extension, the world. It is intended to spur long-term research collaborations between Chinese and University of Chicago researchers. This year’s program is focused on the climate change challenge, and hosted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the Paulson Institute.


All sessions are open to registrants. Registration is required as space is limited. To request special assistance, please contact the Office of University Events and Ceremonies at 773.702.9626.


Morning Session – The Energy, Environment, and Climate Nexus in China: Where Opportunities Converge

When international negotiators meet in Paris later this year for the next round of UN climate talks, much of the world’s focus will be on two countries: China and the U.S. Both countries have shown their leadership in confronting climate change, with a landmark joint climate announcement last year outlining their respective new climate goals for 2025 and beyond. But much work remains to be done to make these goals a reality. This panel and associated discussion with current and former senior government officials and academics will explore the intertwined environmental and climate challenges the country faces, their health and economic toll, and the key energy and environmental policy decisions that China has made and will need to make in order to forge a sustainable path forward.

9:00am  Welcome remarks

9:15am  Panel – China’s Environment and Climate Challenges: The Human Toll and Path Forward

China’s Climate: Changes and Physical Impacts
Elisabeth Moyer, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Department of Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago

Air Pollution: Current and Future Trends
Wang Litao, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering

The Environment and Health: Impacts from Air Pollution Today, Climate Change Tomorrow
Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and the College, The University of Chicago; Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago

National Policy Efforts and Implementation
Zou Ji, Deputy Director General, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, People’s Republic of China

Moderated by Pete Ogden, Senior Advisor and Fellow, Senior Advisor and Fellow, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago

11:00am  Beyond Paris: A Conversation with Hank Paulson, Chairman, Paulson Institute and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Moderator: Michael Greenstone

11:45am  Morning closing remarks with Dali Yang, Professor, Department of Political Science, The University of Chicago; Founding Faculty Director, The University of Chicago Center in Beijing

12:00pm  Complimentary lunch with pre-registration

Afternoon Session – U.S.-China Relations

Climate change is not the only challenge the U.S. and China must work together to confront. Their relationship, and how it evolves, is crucial to all of our futures.  As the two countries continue to learn how to interact in an ever changing world, there will be cooperative opportunities and times of contention.  In what areas do the U.S. and China have the greatest common interests?  And how can they work past areas of debate to forge a relationship that will aid both countries’ interests and our common future?

1:30pm  Keynote address and conversation with Madame Fu Ying, Chairperson, Foreign Affairs Committee, 12th National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China

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