California Rises Above U.S. Climate Leadership

Asia Society at the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial in Beijing

Staff from the Asia Society joined energy ministers and thousands of experts from the around the world at the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial in Beijing, China from June 6-8. The annual gathering, first initiated in 2009 by the U.S., supports international efforts to address climate change by helping to drive clean energy policy and technology solutions.

During the trip, Asia Society staff joined officials from the State of California, including Governor Jerry Brown, Chair Robert Weisenmiller of the Energy Commission, and Chair Mary Nichols of the Air Resources Board, in a number of activities aimed at deepening the collaboration between China and California on climate change and clean energy. The trip provided a chance to build on a recent effort by the Asia Society to build stronger exchanges with both sides on clean air policy, regulations, and technology.

In addition to participating in a dialogue organized by the Energy Foundation looking at clean energy economic transition and at the Under 2 Clean Energy Forum, the Asia Society joined experts at the launch of the U.S.-China Climate Change Institute at Tsinghua University. The Asia Society also helped to organize a meeting between Chair Weisenmiller of the Energy Commission and officials at China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

The Beijing meetings came at the heel of President Donald Trump’s announcement on June 1 that he would withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accords. States, cities, and businesses from all across the U.S. stepped up to declare their commitment to carry forward America’s leadership on climate as a rejoinder to Trump’s decision. And here in California, Governor Brown has been particularly vocal in expressing his disbelief at America’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement, spearheading sub-national efforts to help maintain the United States’ leadership on climate.

See commentary by Orville Schell on Governor’s Brown’s trip to China in the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, and Politico.

Read “A Clear Opportunity: U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Air” and “A Vital Partnership: California and China Collaborating on Clean Energy and Combatting Climate Change” to learn more about Asia Society’s efforts to deepen America’s partnership with China on climate and clean energy.

Thanks to Jeffrey Heller of Heller Manus Architects, the Clean Air Alliance of China, and Energy Foundation China, for their support of this initiative. Additional travel support to CEM 8 generously provided by Air Canada.