BERKELEY – Working to create opportunities for further global climate action and collaboration, the California-China Climate Institute partnered last week with the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business to host the two-day, “Energy, Climate and Sustainable Investment Symposium,” featuring dialogue and discussion between more than a dozen climate experts from California and China.
“Recognizing mutual vulnerability, mutual responsibility and mutual opportunity, we must take steps – some alone and some joint between the U.S. and China – to mitigate the effects and the causes of global warming,” said Jerry Brown, chair of the California-China Climate Institute, in his opening remarks. “This Symposium is a breath of fresh air, where we can exchange ideas and initiatives that we can embark upon in the coming months and years.”
“We have to address this issue before collective myopia pushes humanity to extinction,” said Bing Xiang, Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, who co-hosted the opening session of the Symposium with Brown. “China and the U.S. have this joint responsibility to work together despite some of the differences we have.”
Following these opening remarks – and an introduction to the Symposium from California-China Climate Institute Director Fan Dai – Brown joined a panel discussion with California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Professor Chengyu Fu, who previously served as Chairman and CEO of China National Offshore Oil Corporation and as Chairman of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC). The panel, which was moderated by UC Berkeley Distinguished Professor of Energy and Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) Director Daniel Kammen, featured a wide-ranging discussion on a broad array of climate issues, actions and challenges. Topics included: carbon neutrality targets and China’s new 2060 goal; zero-emission vehicles, transportation electrification, the transition from fossil fuels to green energy and California’s recent directive to phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2035; carbon capture, nature-based solutions and climate adaptation initiatives; biodiversity; global consumption and pollution issues; green stimulus and investment; and business and subnational climate action and partnerships.
The second day of the Symposium featured keynote remarks from Kate Gordon, who serves as Senior Policy Advisor to the California Governor on Climate, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Chair of the California Strategic Growth Council. A panel discussion followed on sustainable investment and clean energy, moderated by California-China Climate Institute Senior Advisor Aimee Barnes. In addition to Gordon, panel participants included: UC Berkeley Professor of International Sustainable Development and Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences Max Auffhammer, New Energy Nexus Chief Energy Officer Danny Kennedy and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Professor of Finance Jianping Mei. UC Berkeley Dean of the Rausser College of Natural Resources David Ackerly delivered closing remarks.
The California-China Climate Institute was launched in September 2019 and is a University of California-wide initiative housed jointly at UC Berkeley’s School of Law – through its Center for Law, Energy & the Environment – and the Rausser College of Natural Resources. It is led by Jerry Brown in partnership with Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs, and the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University – one of China’s preeminent research institutions. The Institute also works closely with other University of California campuses, departments and leaders. Through joint research, training and dialogue, this Institute aims to inform policymakers, foster cooperation and partnership, and drive climate solutions at all levels.