Chinese, California policymakers share sustainability tactics

A picture of the Earth from space. Half of the planet is in darkness, and half of the planet is in sunlight.

The “California and China: Leadership for a Low Carbon Future” conference at Berkeley highlighted collaboration on climate change.

Academics and policymakers from two of the world’s largest economies, China and California, gathered at Berkeley this week to trade strategies on how to tackle the global threat of climate change.

Co-hosted by the Center for Economics, Resources and Innovation (CERI) at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley-Tsinghua Joint Research Center on Energy and Climate Change (BTJRC), the half-day conference highlighted experiences Chinese and Californian policymakers, researchers and non-governmental organizations who have partnered to address shared sustainability challenges.

“Cooperation between the world’s second and fifth largest economies is not only indispensable to climate progress, we hope it can set global standards for technical and institutional innovation,” said Jiang Lin, co-director of CERI.

A group of people standing in front of a brick wall.

Conference attendees.

Several leading state agencies are working with Chinese ministries to share the California’s experience developing energy and environmental policies. NGOs on both sides have opened dialog on common problems and collaborative solutions. Finally, universities and research institutions in China and California are working together to deliver the innovations needed to support new lower-carbon economies.

The event was held in the wake of the signing of California SB 100, a bill requiring the state to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and zero‐carbon sources by 2045.

“This is another example of the state’s determination to meet the climate challenge by promoting innovation and growth,” said Cliff Rechtschaffen, a commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission.

Other speakers included Zhang Yongsheng, deputy director‐general of the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and Isha Ray of the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.

The event was held in advance of the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

“By showcasing emerging leadership in climate-focused California agencies, we want to affirm the state’s initiative going into the next election cycle,” said David Roland-Holst, co-director of CERI.