The Institute's Mayors Training Program hosted 21 Tianjin officials for two weeks of sustainability training in the United States. In Chicago, the delegation heard from former mayors of dynamic American cities, architect Jeanne Gang, and others. The officials continued to Los Angeles, where they toured the port.
A new Institute report argues China's northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region would be ideal for a renewable energy pilot that would integrate wind energy more efficiently onto the grid, The report points out that both Germany and the state of Texas have reduced wasted wind energy, or curtailment, from as much as 17 percent to 1 percent (China reached 15 percent in 2015). From 2011-2015, wasted wind power cost China's energy sector RMB 51 billion and resulted in the unnecessary use of 430 million tons of coal.
The Paulson Institute/CCIEE CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization held its second working-level meeting to continue collaboration on projects that aim to be models for sustainable business and advance China's drive toward a low-carbon economy. At Vanke's super-green headquarters in Shenzhen, representatives from all 18 member companies focused on energy-efficient buildings, green supply chains, electric vehicles, and strategies to raise public awareness of sustainability.
China should move forward with market reforms in order to address challenges facing its exchange rate regime, argues former PBOC official Guan Tao in a new Paulson Policy Memorandum. Despite an August 2015 decision aimed at improving transparency in the RMB exchange rate valuation process, China’s currency regime is caught between market expectations of depreciation and a political mandate to stabilize the exchange rate amid economic uncertainty.
The Institute co-hosted the second annual meeting of the China Coastal Wetland Conservation Network in June, convening some 200 experts to discuss climate change and coastal wetlands. Jointly organized with the State Forestry Administration of China, the event brought together wetland managers from China’s 11 coastal provinces and experts from across China to focus on adaptive management of coastal wetlands and enhanced carbon sequestration in wetlands to mitigate climate change. The network aims to promote best practices in wetlands management and raise awareness of officials at various levels on coastal wetlands conservation and management.
China's services sector now accounts for more than 50 percent of the country's GDP—a seemingly positive development in the government's effort to move away from heavy industry and cheap exports. But a new Paulson Institute Policy Memorandum by Senior Fellow Andrew Batson points out that finance and real estate account for a large portion of the service sector gains, making the ostensible shift less sustainable than it should be. In an interview, Batson, who is director of China research at the independent research firm Gavekal Dragonomics, argues that targets might be the answer to promoting more productive services such as education, entertainment, and tourism.
Following the release of the Institute's Coastal Wetland Conversation Blueprint last October, Chairman Hank Paulson wrote letters to top officials of six coastal provinces, outlining the report’s results for each province and encouraging wetlands protection. Local leaders have responded with action: Jiangsu held a meeting in May to incorporate wetlands conservation into economic plans and set up a nature preserve for the near-extinct spoon-billed sandpiper. And Tianjin signed an agreement with the State Forestry Administration and the Paulson Institute to protect the Beidagang wetland. A new synopsis of the Blueprint, published by the Institute, brings the most important findings to a broader audience.
A new Paulson Institute animated video highlights how Beijing and Zhangjiakou, which will co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics, can better coordinate their renewable energy plans to achieve a truly "green" Olympics. Zhangjiakou has abundant wind energy resources but currently wastes a large amount of the energy due to uncoordinated planning: much of the wind energy is not integrated onto the grid. Beijing, meanwhile, aims to expand its electric vehicle use—but for now isn't sufficiently accessing renewable energy from the North. The animation points out that for a greener future, China can link clean energy from Zhangjiakou to power Beijing's planned 600,000 electric cars by 2020.