Climate Change


China and Climate Change Symposium

Session One: Chinese Energy and Climate Strategy

Zhou Dadi, Professor, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), People's Republic of China

Trevor Houser, Director, Energy & Climate Practice, Rhodium Group (RHG); Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Taiya Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Presider: Elizabeth C. Economy, C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

8:00 to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast Reception
8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Meeting

Session Two: Energy Technology in China

Wu Zongxin, Director of Academic Committee, Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology, and Director, Energy Environment and Economy Institute, Tsinghua University

Edward S. Steinfeld, Associate Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Director, MIT-China Program, and Co-Director, China Energy Group, MIT Industrial Performance Center

Presider: Andrew Revkin, Science Reporter, New York Times

10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Meeting

Session Three: Policy Options for the United States

This session will focus on the findings and recommendations of the CFR Independent Task Force on Climate Change. The Task Force begins by arguing that the United States must lead with domestic action. It then turns its attention to the major emerging economies, including China, proposing a U.S. negotiating strategy for a global UN climate agreement that includes commitments from all major economies, while also promoting a less formal Partnership for Climate Cooperation that would focus the world's largest emitters on implementing emissions reductions.

George E. Pataki, Counsel, Chadbourne and Parke LLP; former Governor of New York; Co-chair, CFR Independent Task Force on Climate Change

Thomas J. Vilsack, Of Counsel, Dorsey & Whitney LLP; former Governor of Iowa; Co-chair, CFR Independent Task Force on Climate Change

Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and Environment, Council on Foreign Relations; Director, CFR Independent Task Force on Climate Change

Presider: Robert Bazell, Chief Health & Science Correspondent, NBC News/MSNBC

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Meeting
12:45 to 1:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch

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Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Policy

Chair: George Pataki
Chair: Thomas J. Vilsack
Speaker: Michael Levi
Presider: Terry Moran

With increasing attention to climate change in the presidential campaigns, as Congress tackles the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security bill, and as the world’s largest economies prepare to meet this summer to address global warming, a new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force explains what the United States must do to confront the challenge. The report, Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy, argues that the United States must creatively leverage ambitious action at home to advance an effective foreign policy. It proposes a U.S. negotiating strategy for a global UN climate agreement, while also promoting a new and less formal Partnership for Climate Cooperation that would focus the world’s largest emitters on implementing aggressive emissions reductions. The report also provides recommendations on a host of controversial issues, including cap-and-trade legislation, international offsets, trade sanctions, biofuels, nuclear power, and assistance with adapting to climate change.

See more in Climate Change; Global


The Geopolitics of the Arctic

Speaker: Scott Borgerson
Speaker: Paula Dobriansky
Presider: Frank Sesno

As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, this November marked the close of the longest Arctic sailing and shipping season ever recorded. Please join Scott Borgerson and Paula Dobriansky to discuss the economic, environmental, and security implications of a changing Arctic region and its significance for the United States.

See more in Arctic; Climate Change


Developing an International Framework for Geoengineering

Speaker: M. Granger Morgan
Speaker: John Steinbruner
Presider: Ruth Bell

As the international community continues to work toward emissions reductions, some climate scientists are turning to the concept of geoengineering—the deliberate manipulation of the Earth’s climate—to offset the effects of climate change. The concept, however, raises scientific, political, and ethical questions. Join M. Granger Morgan and John D. Steinbruner to discuss the development of an international framework for geoengineering and the implications of these technologies for U.S. foreign policy.



See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Climate Change; Environmental Policy


The United States and the Future of Global Governance: Tackling Climate Change

Speaker: Paula Dobriansky
Speaker: Michael Levi
Speaker: William Antholis
Moderator: Jessica Mathews

What will be the most effective forums for international cooperation in regulating the global commons, and what leadership role should the United States play on these issues? What are the prospects for a climate change agreement at Copenhagen in 2009, and what role should the United States play? What are the prospects for "mini-lateral" cooperation-especially between the United States, European Union, China, and India-among major emitter countries?

See more in Climate Change; Global Governance; Global


Can Coal be Clean? The Promise of Climate Change Technology

Speaker: Ernest Moniz
Speaker: Rick Boucher
Presider: Michael Levi

As the largest generator of electricity in the United States, China, and India and a leading source of carbon emissions, coal will play an important role in energy and climate change policy from local to global levels. New technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration have been touted as cure-alls for the environmental ills of carbon-emitting coal plants. But these technologies like many others may face significant technical and economic hurdles. Join Dr. Moniz, cochair of the recent MIT report “The Future of Coal,” and Representative Boucher to discuss the pivotal role of coal in the global energy and climate change debate.

See more in Global; Climate Change; Coal