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Clean Energy in the United States and China: Successes, Challenges, and Implications
This joint panel discussion will touch on the energy and water choke points that the United States and China are facing and will stimulate discussion on opportunities for collaboration to address these issues. This discussion will also highlight key factors driving China’s approach to clean energy and climate policy, including the growing constraints on coal development and the opportunities and challenges that face the U.S. in their efforts to develop clean energy and tackle climate change.
Jennifer Turner is the Director of the China Environment Forum (CEF) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her expertise lies primarily in environmental and energy policy in China, with a strong background in water governance and environmental civil society development in China. Besides putting on meetings and publications focusing on a variety of energy and environmental challenges facing China, she has coordinated several research exchange activities bringing together Chinese, U.S., and other Asian experts on a broad range of energy and environmental issues with upcoming exchanges focused on U.S.-China energy cooperation, water pollution, and environmental justice. She also serves as editor of the Wilson Center’s journal, the China Environment Series, a publication that features writings by policy, activist, and business experts working on energy and environmental issues in China. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Comparative Politics from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Department of Political Science at Indiana University.
Ailun Yang is a Senior Associate on WRI’s major emerging economies team, where she leads the efforts to build the case for low-carbon development in a number of major developing countries such as China and India. In this capacity, she is tasked to design, plan, and execute research and policy analysis in order to influence national debates and build the evidence base to accelerate clean technology deployment and sustainable low-carbon development. Her current work focus is on the global coal market and China’s power sector. Ailun is also an expert on China-US relations on the issue of climate and energy and works to promote positive exchanges between the two countries. She has been following the international climate negotiation process, and she is one of the most active Chinese non-governmental spokespersons on this issue for media.
Prior to joining WRI, Ailun worked with Greenpeace China for 6.5 years. As the head of the climate and energy campaign, she developed and implemented various projects on public awareness raising and energy policy lobby. She worked closely with the Chinese renewable energy industries to campaign for the best supportive policies. She was the main coordination for the multi-organization project the True Cost of Coal, which published the first comprehensive analysis of the external costs of China’s coal consumption.
Ailun holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Manchester, and a Master’s degree in Sociology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Ailun lives in Rockville, MD with her partner Miaohan and their son Jiayang.
Joanna Lewis is an assistant professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research examines technology acquisition and innovation strategies for energy leapfrogging, drawing from cases of renewable energy development in the emerging economies. Focused primarily on China, her work combines approaches from energy systems and policy analysis, global environmental politics, and technology transfer and innovation studies. Current projects include an examination of US-China cross border technology innovation in clean energy research and development, the evolving nature of US-China relations on energy and climate, China’s climate change mitigation and adaptation options and approaches, and an analysis of the implications of emerging international renewable energy trade conflicts. Her research has appeared in journals such as Energy Policy, the International Journal of Technology and Globalization, the China Environment Series, International Affairs and the Washington Quarterly, as well as in numerous edited volumes on environmental policy and on contemporary Chinese politics. She has conducted extensive research on international technology transfer in China’s wind power industry, and her book, Green Innovation in China: China's Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy, was published by Columbia University Press in late 2012.
Dr. Lewis also serves as an international adviser to the Energy Foundation China Sustainable Energy Program in Beijing, and is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report. She was a member of the National Academies Committee on U.S.-China Cooperation on Electricity from Renewables and has consulted for many domestic and international organizations including UNIDO and USAID. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)’s U.S.-China Program. Dr. Lewis was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 2011-2012, and is serving as a National Committee on US-China Relations Public Intellectuals Program Fellow from 2011-2013.
Previously, Dr. Lewis was a Senior International Fellow at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and a researcher in the China Energy Group at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She served as the technical director for the Asia Society’s Initiative for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate, and has also worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the National Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Defense Fund. From 2003-2004 she was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Energy, Environment, and Economy at Tsinghua University in Beijing and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.