About the China Environment Forum

The water-energy-food choke point is forcing a new reckoning. Three colliding trends—declining freshwater reserves, booming energy demand, and uncertain grain supplies—are disrupting economies, governments, and environments around the world. As the world’s most populous country and biggest energy consumer, China’s energy, food, and environmental security is threatened as it hits these choke points. How Chinese policymakers deal with these water-energy-food confrontations will have significant domestic and global consequences. 

In 2010, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) teamed up with the Michigan-based Circle of Blue to launch the Choke Point: China initiative, which created a broad assessment and narrative of the water-energy-food confrontations in the world’s second largest economy. We were the first to report that 20 percent of China’s annual water use goes to produce energy from coal. Our reporting also raised sobering questions on the large and overlooked energy footprint of water in China. Over 20 multimedia reports on China’s choke points have attracted considerable interest from policymakers, researchers, and NGOs in and outside China, catalyzing new research, policy discussions, and programming. 

To deepen these dialogues and highlight potential solutions, the China Environment Forum began a partnership with the Beijing-based environmental group Greenovation Hub to organize the first China Water-Energy Team (China WET) exchange in August 2013. During the week-long exchange, the team participated in six closed and two public roundtable discussions in Beijing with Chinese government research institutes, think tanks, environmental NGOs, universities, and businesses.

This Roadmap captures insights from the China WET exchange and numerous in-depth interviews with Chinese and U.S. environmental and energy practitioners. The three main goals of this Roadmap are to: 

  • Provide a snapshot of the water-energy-food trends and major players in China;
  • Identify research and policy gaps for addressing China’s water-energy-food choke points; and,
  • Propose potential solutions moving forward, with an emphasis on the role of China-U.S. collaboration to address the water-energy- food confrontations in both countries. 

The work of the China Environment Forum and Greenovation Hub aims to cross silos both within and across the U.S. and Chinese governments, research, business, and NGO communities to inform, and hopefully catalyze, better policymaking and a greener environment. We hope this Roadmap will play a small part in helping both countries better address the water-energy-food challenge. 

 

The Latest from the China Environment Forum

New Partnerships for Clearing the Air in Asia’s Cities

Event //
August 12, 2015 // 2:00pm4:00pm
Asian cities are at the frontlines in the fight against air pollution. These cities are engines of economic growth, but often lack the tools and capacity they need to better manage air quality. more

China Daily Covered CEF Meeting on Chinese Direct Investment in the US Energy Sector

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Aug 05, 2015
Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States accelerated only a few years ago, but Chinese companies are now building a variety of solar and wind farms, electric-vehicle manufacturing plants and other greenfield energy projects across America. However, Chinese direct investment in the US clean-energy sector is greatly influenced by local policies, policy experts said in a CEF meeting on July 30. more

CEF Director Jennifer Turner Talked on NPR about How Can Beijing Get Enough Snow for 2022 Winter Olympics

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Aug 04, 2015
Among the questions raised by Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics was this one. Where are they going to get the snow? In its evaluation of the bid, the Olympic Committee noted minimal snowfall in the area, so the games, they concluded, will rely completely on artificial snow. Jennifer Turner, CEF Director at Wilson Center was interviewed by NPR's Melissa Block on water issues for 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. more

As Beijing Prepares To Host Winter Olympics, Where Will It Get The Snow?

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Jul 31, 2015
"For the surrounding area, they are going to get the water there to make the snow, and there will definitely be losers. And it could be local, smaller villages and remaining farming communities," says Jennifer Turner in this interview on NPR. more

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