In early June, China hosted the 8th annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM-8) in Beijing. The ministerial is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, share lessons learned and best practices, and encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. The three-day event in Beijing broadly showcased innovative technology and policy driven by China, California, and many others around the world. Thousands of leaders from business and the policy landscape joined energy ministers from two dozen countries, sending a clear signal that—despite waning interest from the Trump Administration—the transition to a global clean energy economy is accelerating around the world and in states, cities, businesses, and civil society.
Energy Foundation China (EF China) grantees, philanthropic partners, allies and staff members attended and led CEM-8 events. EF China hosted a side event called “The Clean Energy Economic Transition,” a day-long conversation designed to link clean energy, economics, finance, and innovation. Wang Yiming, an economist and deputy head of the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, underscored the links between China’s energy transition and its mainstream economic restructuring, flagging the opportunity to decouple China’s GDP growth from increases in energy consumption. Other speakers at the event—from various financial institutes, including a development bank, a commercial bank, and venture capitalists—shared their commitment to ensure green performance in their investments in China and abroad, and recognized the risks associated with their portfolios from fossil fuel projects.
The side event concluded with a speech by California Governor Jerry Brown. In recent years, EF China and its grantees have helped to facilitate educational exchanges between California and China. In 2013, California and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to joint efforts to combat global climate change, promote clean and efficient energy, and support low-carbon development. To encourage this ongoing partnership, Energy Foundation supported five policy and technical experts from the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission to travel to China for CEM-8 and engage with their counterparts, focusing on electric vehicles, clean energy transition and related subjects. Energy Foundation was also a sponsor of CEM-7 meeting, which the United States hosted in California last year.
EF China supported multiple other CEM-8 events through the week, including an international electric vehicles pilot cities forum, a zero-energy buildings workshop, and a side event on corporate sourcing of renewable energy.