YCW Climate Series June 2020

Wed 3rd June: What can the world learn from China’s leading role in energy and electric vehicles?

Sat 13th June: Pangolin Panic? The Realities of China’s Wildlife Reforms

Sat 20th June: Feeding China: How Climate Change and Coronavirus are Challenging the Quest for Food Security

Access via a virtual conference platform – details in an Eventbrite email shortly before the event

With the success of YCW’s climate event in London earlier this year and in light of the COVID pandemic highlighting the importance of global cooperation to solve the world’s biggest challenges, we are organising an online series addressing key issues at the intersection of China and the climate, including discussions with leading experts around energy, biodiversity and food security.

In recent years, China has pivoted from pursuing economic growth at all costs to prioritising sustainable development. Far-reaching measures and transformative innovations in energy and electric vehicle infrastructure suggest China is on track to curb domestic climate change, yet at the same time COVID-19 and China’s resistance to prohibit the sale of endangered and high-risk wildlife demonstrates that comprehensive climate policies have yet to be implemented across the board. The complexity and interdependence of climate issues alongside the battle between cultural and economic motives pose a series of challenges for China and countries around the world in their ability to unite over common goals and find solutions.

Across many climate spheres, China has an instrumental and quickly evolving role to play at home and abroad in terms of its contribution towards and actions to mitigate climate change. This series aims to delve deeper into these key issues to understand how China is leading or lagging on these areas and explore the challenges and opportunities it faces on the horizon.

Opening Event

‘What can the world learn from China’s leading role in energy and electric vehicles?’ YCW in conversation with Barbara Finamore, Senior Strategic Director for Asia at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Wed 3rd June, 6.30pm BST

For the opening event of the YCW Climate Series, we are delighted to be in conversation with Barbara Finamore to discuss what the world can learn from China’s leading role in energy and electric vehicles.

Amidst the undoing of the United States as a global climate leader, China jumped onto the world stage to carry the torch of the Paris Agreement and set a guiding path for other industrialised and developing countries to transition to more green economies. A key indicator of China’s successful green transition is the growth in renewable energy infrastructure and electric vehicle adoption. Whilst in 2013 China’s electric vehicle adoption sat at 18,000, making for 0.1% of all car sales, in 2019 over 10% of China’s car sales were for electric vehicles, totalling 1.3 million cars. Evidently, China’s leading position in these areas highlights its capacity to take remarkable action towards protecting both long-term national interests and the planet.

At the same time, China is faced with up to 50% of unused renewable energy capacity in some provinces, a lack of infrastructure for long-range transmission of energy from Western China where it is produced to the populous urban hubs in the East, as well as being responsible for producing more coal-powered energy than the rest of the world combined since 2011. Looking further afield, other Chinese foreign policy initiatives such as large-scale foreign coal investments under BRI contradict China’s renewable energy ambitions and suggest there are limitations to the reach of China’s green finger.

YCW are delighted to be in conversation with Barbara Finamore, who founded the National Resources Defense Council’s China Program and played an instrumental role in China’s aforementioned energy triumphs and continues to hold a key role in solving the energy and climate challenges that still face both China and the rest of the world. Through discussing China’s energy and electric vehicle transition, we aim to gain a better understanding of how China and other countries around the world can learn from each other to transition to low-carbon economies.

RSVP here

Climate Series Lineup

6.30pm BST, Wed 3rd June: ‘What can the world learn from China’s leading role in energy and electric vehicles?’ In conversation with Barbara Finamore

Barbara Finamore, Senior Strategic Director for Asia at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

12pm BST, Sat 13th June: Pangolin Panic? The Realities of China’s Wildlife Reforms

Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF)
Aron White, Campaigner and China Specialist at the Environmental Investigation Agency
Zhang Jingwei, Investment, Trade and the Environment program officer at the Global Environmental Institute

12pm BST, Sat 20th June: Feeding China: How Climate Change and Coronavirus are Challenging the Quest for Food Security

Doris Lee, Consultant at Good Food Institute Consultancy (GFIC, Beijing)
Other speakers to be announced shortly

About Barbara Finamore

Barbara Finamore is the Senior Strategic Director for Asia at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She has four decades of experience in environmental law and energy policy, with a focus on China for nearly 30 years. In 1996, she founded NRDC’s China Program, the first clean energy program to be launched by an international NGO.In 2017, Barbara was named a member of Foreign Policy’s “The U.S.-China 50”, a group of 50 individuals who are powering the world’s most complex and consequential relationship. She holds a J.D. degree with honors from Harvard Law School. Barbara is the author of Will China Save the Planet? (Polity Press 2018), a book about China’s climate leadership and the challenges to its low-carbon energy transition.

Venue Details for Access via a virtual conference platform – details in Eventbrite confirmation

Please register for this virtual event via Eventbrite. Joining instructions including a video conference link will be shared with attendees closer to the time of the event.


Eventbrite sign up information for the other events in this series will be shared at a later date.

London – YCW Climate Series: Opening Event with Barbara Finamore, Senior Strategic Director for Asia at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
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