Beijing, China—Last week the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy joined the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing for its Dimensions of U.S.-China Leadership conference. A key topic during the daylong conference was U.S.-China cooperation in energy and the environment.
Kleinman Center Director Mark Alan Hughes participated in a panel on this topic, which followed a keynote presentation by Terry Cooke, Assistant Director of Penn’s Fox Leadership International program and Founding Director of the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia. Also on the panel was Qi Ye, Director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy.
Dr. Hughes' presentation focused on U.S. energy market trends, specifically looking at the role of hydraulic fracking and natural gas, affordability of renewable technologies, the transformation of the electric gird, and the growing idea, both explicitly and implicitly, of a price on carbon. These energy trends are some of the main drivers shaping energy policy in the U.S.
Dr. Hughes’ presentation also explored energy policy prospects including the Clean Power Plan, the largest U.S. emissions policy currently making its way through the courts. Dr. Hughes further discussed sub-national goal setting, which is poised to play a large role in the future of energy policy, requiring focus on local net benefits. More than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and almost 75% global CO2 emissions come from cities, making them an important piece to addressing climate change.