California-China Climate Institute Pushes for Further U.S.-China Climate Collaboration and Dialogue at UN Climate Change Conference

November 18, 2022

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT – As the world’s leaders convened over the past two weeks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, the California-China Climate Institute led a series of events and meetings to advance collaboration and dialogue between the U.S. and China on climate – culminating in the announcement that both countries will resume climate talks. 

“Our message here in Egypt has been simple and direct: we must work together to confront this crisis,” said Institute Vice Chair Mary Nichols, who represented the Institute at COP27. “We welcome the progress we’ve seen in recent days between the U.S. and China, and stand ready to do our part to advance collaboration at every level.”

In an interview with the Washington Post ahead of COP27, Institute Chair and former Governor Jerry Brown also called for deeper cooperation between the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

“My one big perspective is that climate has to occupy a much bigger place,” said Governor Brown, who also urged both U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to find common ground. “They need to talk about how China can coexist with America… Both are going to have to change to make enough room for their being on the same planet together.”

In addition to Vice Chair Nichols, Institute Senior Advisor and UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy and Environment Executive Director Louise Bedsworth and Senior Climate Policy Fellows Jenn Perron and Jessica Gordon convened and participated in more than half a dozen events across COP27 on behalf of the Institute, including:

  • A dialogue organized by the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment at the China Pavilion focused on synergies in co-control of air pollution and climate change.
  • A panel on California’s subnational climate leadership, featuring top leaders from the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and California State Transportation Agency, along with the U.S. Climate Alliance. 
  • A discussion opened by Vice Chair Nichols at the China Pavilion on university-led collaborative research partnerships to advance equitable science - including on methane reductions - with professors and researchers.
  • Three press conferences highlighting U.S.-China collaboration on decarbonization solutions with speakers from UC Berkeley, the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the World Bank.
  • An event focused on accelerating nature-based climate solutions across California and China featuring leaders from The Nature Conservancy, Peking University, the California Legislature, the Asian Development Bank, and Vice Chair Nichols.
  • A convening at the SDG Pavilion on strategic opportunities for  China’s decarbonization with the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Innovative Green Development Program (iGDP), Newlink-CCIC, and the Center for Law, Energy and Environment at UC Berkeley. 
  • A discussion at Energy Foundation China’s Pavilion on accelerating China's energy decarbonization with Energy Innovation and other partners. 
  • A reception co-hosted with The Nature Conservancy, featuring remarks from its Chief Scientist Katharine Hayhoe, and its China Global Engagement Director.

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.