Executive Roundtable Series With Barbara Finamore
(President's Circle Event)
On June 27, Asia Society Northern California hosted an Executive Roundtable with Barbara Finamore at Nixon Peabody's San Francisco office.
Barbara Finamore founded Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) China program, focusing on climate, clean energy, environmental protection, and urban solutions in China. She also leads NRDC’s Green Ports project in China, which aims to reduce air pollution caused by shipping and port-related activity. Before joining NRDC, Finamore worked for the United Nations Development Programme, the Center for International Environmental Law, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior. She has also served as president and chair of the Professional Association for China’s Environment. In addition, she is the co-founder and president of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance. In 2017, she was named a member of Foreign Policy’s The U.S.-China 50, a group of 50 individuals who are powering the world's most complex and consequential relationship. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and is based in the Boston area.
Barbara discussed how China has historically relied on its coal industry which is harmful to both the environment and its people. The central question of her book, Will China Save the Planet?, is can China transition from their heavy reliance on coal to green environmentalism? Barbara laid out evidence for both yes and no in her presentation, detailing how China will exceed its CO2 limitations by 2030 while also depicting some of the steps it has taken to promote clean energy and environmentalism. She also detailed the potential of China's Belt and Road Initiative to incorporate environmental initiatives into the countries where it is operating. Ultimately the picture of China is of a country at a crossroads. Barbara noted both the urgency of the situation and how there is potential for change if action is taken.
About Our Roundtables: Asia Society Northern California hosts our private Executive Roundtable Series with industry leaders every month in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Program topics are around headline news, business analysis, and critical issues coming out of Asia. These monthly briefings, launched in September 2017, have grown in popularity to generate wait-lists quickly. Most events are off-the-record to encourage open debate and discussion.