Energy Transition Research Institute

U.S.-China Climate Dialogue: Assisting Provincial Leaders

Pictured, L to R: Zhang Ji-Qiang, blue moon fund; Shenyu Belsky, Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Jin Jiaman, Global Environmental Institute; and William Chandler, Entri. Zhang, Belsky, Chandler, and Jin organized the U.S.-China Climate Track II Dialogue from 2007 to 2010 (see group photograph from Great Wall meeting, 2008).

Entri and the Chinese Energy Research Institute are collaborating to help Chinese provincial leaders achieve ambitious energy efficiency goals adopted by the Chinese central government. Achieving these goals would be China’s best contribution to reducing growth in global greenhouse emissions. Entri has experience and expertise that can maximize the chances for success.

Entri is conducting training in relevant international experience – both practice and policy – and suggesting ways to apply lessons learned to China’s circumstances. Entri brings experience with the business community – energy users and suppliers – that will play a vital role in this gargantuan effort. Combining forces with local experts to build capacity for energy efficiency is among the most effective contributions American organizations can make to global environmental protection.

Entri experts maintain a working partnership with China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI) to prepare China’s provincial leaders for the increasingly difficult task of reducing China’s carbon footprint. Our recent efforts have included:

  • Supporting ERI in training activities for provincial policy-makers and officials on energy efficiency
  • Presenting state-of-the-art information on energy-efficiency best practice at both the local and national levels.
  • Making recommendations for ERI’s use to provide advice and information to the Chinese central government.

Our paper, “State and Federal Jurisdictions in U.S. Energy Efficiency Policy,” published in China Energy, is available in English and Chinese.

Understanding Chinese Energy and Climate Data

Better energy data are needed to measure China's progress toward domestic economic and environmental goals and to establish its credibility in international climate negotiations. Improving collection, verification, and analysis of coal production and consumption data would be a good place to begin. Frequent adjustments to coal data undermine confidence in China’s laudable commitment to carbon emissions reductions.

Only a major commitment to capacity building at all levels of data management and administration can remedy serious statistical shortcomings. The Chinese government could fix problems such as the difficulty of reconciling the national energy balance sheet with the total of corresponding items on provincial balance sheets. Entri experts recommend adding energy expertise to the analysis of economic data systems, instituting requirements for data cross-checking, using data collected by utilities instead of data from enterprises, and inviting independent analysts to review data before publication of the data sets.

For more on this subject, see William Chander and Wang Yanjia, "Memo to Copenhagen: The Commentary is Misinformed: China's Commitment is Significant"; and Wang Yanjia and William Chandler, "Understanding Chinese Energy Intensity Data."