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Sustainable Development in Asia: Coal, Oil, and Renewable Energy in China

A panel meets at Asia Society to discuss coal, oil, and renewable energy in China

April 16, 2007 12:00am

Monday, April 16, 2007
Registration: 5:30 PM, Program followed by reception: 6:00 PM
Asia Society of Northern California
500 Washington St., 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA
Please RSVP to the Asia Society, 415-421-8707.
$5 Members/Students, $12 Non-Members

Sponsors: Institute of East Asian Studies, Asia Society of Northern California, China Circle, East-West Center Association of Northern California, USF Center for the Pacific Rim

With oil now costing more than $60/barrel, the price of natural gas having doubled in the last two years, and growing alarm over global warming, concern for sustainable energy practices has moved squarely into the mainstream. Nowhere is this clearer and more important than in China today. China relies heavily on imported oil and gas, and its rapid economic growth has directly contributed to global price hikes for both. Faced with increased prices and supply uncertainties, and despite mounting environmental costs, China has little choice in the short run but to increase its reliance on coal, which already supplies some two-thirds of China’s energy. But recently the government also announced its goal of supplying 15 percent of China’s energy needs with renewables by 2020.

Is this goal feasible? What is being done to achieve it? What is China doing to make coal-fired plants – its largest source of sulfur emissions, which cause global warming – more environmentally friendly? How can it better insure that regulations created in Beijing are actually enforced in the provinces? With venture capital investment exploding in clean technology as well as in China, what is the overlap between the two? How are NGO’s helping to improve China’s energy policies and practices? 

Edgard H. Habib has served as the Chief Economist for Chevron Corporation since 2000. He has also held senior positions at the Mitsubishi Corporation and the International Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Jiang Lin is a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Dr. Lin's research focuses on energy use and policies in China, particularly energy efficiency policies. He has advised numerous government agencies in China as well as multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the United Nations.

Douglas Ogden is Executive Vice President of the Energy Foundation and Director of the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP) in Beijing. CSEP is a partnership of private foundations that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy development in the PRC.