California-China Climate Institute Celebrates 2 Years of Research, Training and Dialogue

Marks Anniversary with Climate Week Events, Gov. Newsom’s Action on Legislation Recognizing Institute’s Work

September 30, 2021

BERKELEY – Two years after its launch, the California-China Climate Institute celebrated its anniversary last week by convening two virtual Climate Week NYC events focused on U.S. and Chinese subnational climate action and applauding new legislation – AB 39 by Assemblymember Ed Chau – signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, which recognizes, and codifies, the ongoing work of the Institute.

“It’s been two years since we were founded and this Institute is a very bright light in the midst of some very difficult times between our two countries,” said former Governor Jerry Brown, who chairs the Institute. “We are working together at the subnational level and also with national leaders to confront the common threat of climate disaster, and to advance knowledge, understanding and action.” 

In addition to featuring remarks from Governor Brown, the Institute’s first Climate Week NYC event on September 20, 2021, also included speeches from California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Institute Vice Chair and former California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, and a panel discussion on subnational climate action with top leaders from the U.S. Climate Alliance, Southeast University-Yangtze River Delta Carbon Neutrality Strategy Development Institute and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. 

The second virtual event, on September 21, 2021, included a panel discussion moderated by Vice Chair Nichols on major air quality and green shipping developments in the U.S. and China with experts from the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s International Clean Shipping Program, the International Council on Clean Transportation and UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Public Policy. The second panel, moderated by Institute Research Affiliate and former California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller, featured a discussion on electrification challenges, including battery safety and second-life usage, with top engineering professors from UC Davis, the University of Michigan and Tsinghua University.

Last week, the Institute also commended Governor Newsom, who participated in the Institute’s launch two years ago, for signing AB 39, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau. This legislation recognizes the Institute’s work to advance joint policy research and foster high-level dialogue as well as its ongoing partnership with state government to accelerate climate action. 

The University of California-wide California-China Climate Institute was launched in September 2019 and is housed jointly at UC Berkeley’s School of Law – through its Center for Law, Energy & the Environment – and the Rausser College of Natural Resources. The Institute works in partnership with the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at Tsinghua – one of China’s preeminent research institutions – as well 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.