A Clear Opportunity for Clean Air

Asia Society Northern California, with Energy Foundation China and the Clean Air Alliance of China, hosted a private lunch round table between clean air technology entrepreneurs, policymakers, and nonprofit leaders at the Nixon Peabody San Francisco office on December 9th, 2016. The meeting previewed Asia Society’s newly published report, A Clear Opportunity: U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Air, discussed key opportunities for the two countries to work on this area and strengthened the growing network of experts participating in the project.

Moderated by N. Bruce Pickering, Vice President of Asia Society and Executive Director of Asia Society Northern California, at Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office, the meeting included a presentation by Juan Wei, ASNC Sustainability Projects Manage, and Fritz Kharl, Energy & Environmental Economics Director, on key findings from the report. Lijian Zhao, Energy Foundation China Environmental Management Program Director, gave a presentation on the latest air quality management strategies underway in China’s big cities.

The subsequent dialogue included decision makers from the Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, San Francisco Department of the Environment, Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association, Pacific Environment, Aclima Inc., Bioinspira, NanoArchitech, and Viaex. Each organization shared it’s perspective on how to encourage international market entry facilitation for clean air technologies and where the key opportunities lie in.

The Chinese version of the report was officially released in Beijing on December 15 at the 2nd Bluetech International Clean Air Conference organized by the Clean Air Alliance of China. The report identifies priority areas for collaboration on clean air technologies, enabling regulations, and market facilitation, which will also support broader collaborations on climate change between the United States and China.

Pickering, Wei, and Associate Director of Asia Society Northern California Robert Hsu, presented the report’s findings at forum which gathers 300 participants, including policymakers, Chinese and international experts, local environmental departments, technology companies, environmental organizations, researchers, and media, to learn about emerging trends and new cutting-edge clean air technologies around the world.

The drafting of the report was advised by an extensive group of advisors and experts including the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, and the Chair of the California Energy Commission, Robert Weisenmiller. It has received commends from a diverse group of reviewers.

“The collaboration proposed in this report between China and the United States will help us achieve our climate goals and offers the world a template of how to get it done. Developing clean fuels for trucks, promoting the electrification of passenger cars, collaborating to find strategies that work, and efforts to bring innovation to market are recommendations that will move our countries and the world forward.”- Robert Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission

“During this unusual and unsettled period where both the US and China find themselves in a state of worrisome flux, it is more important than ever that a constructive Sino-US relationship not founder. And if there is any area where the interests coincide and the two sides converge and have succeeded in forging meaningful collaboration, it is in managing carbon emissions and exploiting green energy. It is absolutely essential that US states, cities and civil society help build and maintain the musculature essential keeping the two countries on convergent pathways. This report documents one such hopeful model experiment between the State of California and the People’s Republic of China.”- Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, the Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

“The Asia Society Special Report on potential U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Air is as timely as can be. Not only is clean air ultimately a life-death matter effecting both countries in equal measure, but is also an area in which the potential for genuine collaboration is the greatest. Both countries have technology and experience to share with each other. This is one of the few real opportunities to realize a true win-win”.- Ken Wilcox, Co-Chair, Asia Society Northern California Advisory Board

“I commend the Asia Society, Clean Air Alliance of China and Energy Foundation on this critically important and timely report which provides a framework for collaboration between the U.S. and China on the mutual goal of air quality. By matching critical needs in China with the most promising policies from U.S. experience, the report highlights a streamlined path to clean air for China’s citizens and an opportunity for emission control technology companies in China and the U.S. Such a collaboration serves to benefit both nations through information exchange as they work toward achieving cleaner air.” -Rasto Brezny, Executive Director, Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association

“The Asia Society’s report highlights the opportunities for productive partnership between our countries. We know cities are the right place to focus implementation of innovative solutions. San Francisco is home to the most ambitious clean tech companies in the world, and will continue to be a leader in developing climate change policy and programs that improve quality of life for our residents. We look forward to continuing to be a part of the conversation through this collaborative, and to potential partnership opportunities with other incredible thought leaders.” - Jessie Denver, Energy Program Manager, San Francisco Department of the Environment

"It was wonderful to see leaders and innovators from our public, private and NGO sectors coming together to share thoughts on advancing clean technologies and bettering China's air quality. Kudos to ASNC, the Energy Foundation China, and the Clean Air Alliance of China for catalyzing this worthy and timely project.” - Jessica Kao, Environmental Protection Agency Region 9

To learn more about this important collaboration, read the executive summary or full version of the report in English or Chinese at AsiaSociety.org/AClearOpportunity