As the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the United States and China are facing the challenge of transforming their current fossil fuel–based energy systems into clean twenty-first-century energy systems that remain cornerstones of our vigorous economies while protecting our shared climate. Here in the United States, federal climate legislation from Washington D.C. is still not forthcoming. But the state of California is stepping in to demonstrate that effective actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while expanding economic opportunities can be accomplished, and success in this area is closely tied to China’s progress in this area. Recognizing that subnational cooperation will play an important part in addressing the global climate challenge, California’s policymakers are stepping up their efforts to share their own experience and expertise through direct exchanges with counterparts in China and learn from China’s successes in the climate and clean energy arena.
In California, many of the most enduring and effective efforts have been collaborations involving state agencies working with research, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations, as well as businesses, professional societies, public utilities, and universities based in both California and China. Such public-private partnerships have helped create something of a California model for subnational international cooperation on climate change and energy issues.
A forthcoming report from the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and Asia Society’s Northern California Center, A Vital Partnership: California and China Collaborating on Clean Energy and Combating Climate Change, will document California’s experience working with a myriad of civil society organizations at home and with an array of likeminded entities in China. The report will provide a one-of-a-kind resource to learn about the many vital partnerships already taking place between California and China on clean energy and to combat climate change.
A Vital Partnership will be launched at an event in San Francisco on March 4. Click here for more information and to register.