Center for Sustainable Cities Meets with Chinese Delegation

Global Reach:

SPPD, Chinese Scholars Discuss Climate Change Mitigation Research

From SPPD staff reports

Meeting with Chinese Delegation SPPD’s Center for Sustainable Cities hosted a workshop on climate change mitigation with faculty from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Photo by John Roberson

The USC Center for Sustainable Cities hosted a workshop with a delegation from the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to discuss research focusing on climate change mitigation. CASS is the premier academic research organization in China in the fields of philosophy and social sciences; it is ranked by Foreign Policy magazine as the top think tank in Asia. The workshop took place Aug. 18 at Doheny Memorial Library.

USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development research professor Hilda Blanco, who directs the center, presented on greenhouse gas inventory methods and their role in California’s climate change mitigation plans. SPPD research assistant professor Dan Wei discussed her project, “Climate Action Planning in the U.S. States: Cost Curve Development and Macroeconomic Impact Analysis.” And, Jie Zhou, SPPD Ph.D. student and research assistant at the center, addressed tools for identifying the drivers of greenhouse gas emissions at an urban scale.

Meeting with Chinese Delegation Photo by John Roberson

From CASS, Gang Li – associate professor at the Institute of Industrial Economics and editor of the China Economics Journal – spoke on the effects of carbon dioxide reduction on China’s economy. His research concludes that China can reduce carbon emissions at a comparatively lower cost than other countries. Assistant professor Lixue Wu presented his research on comparative energy demand projected to 2050, in total and per capita for the United States and China. He discussed the implications of future carbon emissions in China in the context of appropriate carbon reduction strategies.

According to Hilda Blanco, “The focus on climate change mitigation policy by the CASS Institute for Industrial Economics signals how seriously China is considering national climate change mitigation policies. The results of the research presented at the workshop are very encouraging, since results highlight the feasibility for China to undertake a strong carbon mitigation policy. This is of great significance since China has overtaken the U.S. as the nation with the greatest carbon emissions. The feasibility for China to reduce its carbon emissions is not surprising. Climate change mitigation policy makes fundamental economic sense. Climate change mitigation aims at carbon emission reductions, but the primary means to accomplish this is through energy efficiency measures. Energy efficiency, in general, makes an economy more efficient and globally competitive.”

The Center for Sustainable Cities sponsored this workshop as part of research on comparative climate change mitigation methods funded by USC’s U.S.-China Institute, Blanco noted.

“The project aims at establishing complementary or joint research efforts on this topic with Chinese researchers,” she added. “Collaborative research has already been established with researchers at Tsinghua University, led by professor Gu Chaolin on low carbon policies for cities. This workshop with CASS researchers broadens our collaborative efforts on this topic. At the end of the workshop, both sides agreed on the usefulness of the exchange, and identified opportunities for future collaboration. “

Other members of the Chinese delegation included:

  • Qizi Zhang, Professor, Institute of Industrial Economics, CASS
  • Danhui Yang, Professor and Director, Department of Resources and Environment Research, Institute of Industrial Economics, CASS
  • Ping Fan, Associate Professor, Institute of Sociology, CASS
  • Lixue Wu, Assistant Professor, Institute of Industrial Economics, CASS
  • Yongmei Liang, Post-doctor, Institute of Industrial Economics, CASS

In addition, several faculty members and doctoral students from SPPD participated in the event, including professor Tridib Banerjee, director of graduate programs in urban planning, and professor Eric Heikkila, director of international initiatives.