China Plays Competitor, and Collaborator, in the Energy Transition

Scott Moore, author of China’s Next Act, discusses China’s global role in energy technology and sustainability.

China is indispensable in the global effort to address climate change and speed the transition to clean energy. Yet the country, which leads the world in both energy consumption and the manufacture of clean energy technologies, finds itself engaged in increasingly tense diplomatic and economic relations with the world’s developed economies, its key partners in addressing shared global challenges. 

The degree to which these tensions frame China’s relationship with much of the world, and the degree to which China acts as a collaborative, or a competitive force in addressing global challenges, has implications for the global energy system and quality of our environment.

Scott Moore, Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of China’s Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology are Reshaping China’s Rise and the World’s Future, explores how China’s state-directed economic system, and the country’s economic ambitions, influence global efforts to advance energy technology and the energy transition.

Andy Stone: Welcome to the Energy Policy Now podcast from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m Andy Stone. China is the world’s leading consumer of energy and the largest current source of greenhouse gas emissions. The country, which is also a key supplier of clean energy technology, is, in a word, indispensable to any global effort to address climate change and to speeding forward with a transition to clean energy. Yet in recent years, economic and geopolitical tensions have increasingly characterized the relationship between China and many of the world’s developed economies. The degree to which these tensions frame China’s relationship with much of the world, and the degree to which China will be a collaborative or a competitive force in addressing shared global challenges has implications for the global energy system and for the quality of our environment.

On today’s podcast, we’ll be exploring China’s rapidly evolving role in global energy and environmental efforts with Scott Moore, Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. Scott is the author of the recently published book China’s Next Act, which explores China’s role in producing cutting-edge technologies not only in energy, but also in the fields of artificial intelligence and biomedicine. In his book, Scott examines the political and even ethical dilemmas that accompany developments in all of these technology areas. In the podcast, we’ll explore how China’s state-directed economic system and the country’s economic ambitions influence global efforts to advance energy technology and transform our energy system. Scott, welcome to the podcast.

Scott Moore: Thanks so much, Andy. It’s great to be with you.

Stone: Your book, titled China’s Next Act, broadly explores China’s centrality in many areas of technology and sustainability. Could you start us out by overviewing the book and its central theme?

Moore: Andy, the book as a whole has a pretty basic message, which is that we should be thinking about China — its rise and its role in the world — mainly in terms of China’s role in addressing our shared sustainability challenges, especially in climate change. And that is a message and an argument that I felt was important to get out there in the world, really out of an experience I had about a decade ago, when I had the chance to spend some time at the U.S. Department of State, working for the China Desk. That’s the office that handles U.S./China relations, with a set of job responsibilities called Environment, Science, Technology, and Health. At the time, that was definitely a kind of catch-all category that was a little more peripheral, I would say, to our relationship with China, relative to some of my colleagues who were working on more core security or trade issues.

But over the course of the time that I was there, which was 2015-2016, I noticed something really interesting, which is that sustainability issues, and especially climate change, moved from being important but still somewhat peripheral issues in U.S./China relations to one of, if not the most important issue in U.S./China relations. And that was especially the case because in that time period we had a lot of outreach to China, a lot of diplomatic activity around the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which of course went on to become probably the most important international climate policy agreement that we have. And it was that experience, seeing how central sustainability in general and climate in particular became to U.S./China relations that made me want to write a book that just provided an overview of China’s role in addressing the shared sustainability challenges that have become so acute. And that’s not just climate change, by the way. It’s also our biodiversity crisis, in many ways our plastic waste crisis. In pretty much every major environmental issue, China is a really key player. So I wanted to write a book that would explain what that role looks like, especially against the backdrop of rising tensions and generally deteriorating relationships between China, the U.S., and other countries.

Stone: I want to go into those tensions in just a moment, but first off, as you just mentioned, you spend quite a bit of time in the book writing about China’s global importance in energy and ecological matters. If you don’t mind, could you take a little bit of time putting China more into context in terms of the energy transition, sustainability and its centrality in terms of technology and diplomacy in these areas?

Moore: From a climate perspective, China’s role is pretty easy to explain, in that it is the world’s largest emitter and has been since the early 2000s. And its emissions are so great that China has accounted for about 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions that have taken place this century. This is just to give you a sense of how big of a player and how big of a source of greenhouse gases China has become.

There are several key aspects of that. One is just how quickly China’s economy has grown and how large an economy it is. It is, of course, the world’s second largest economy, but it’s also the center of the world’s manufacturing base. That’s really important because manufacturing and heavy industry tends to be more carbon-intensive. The fact that it’s so heavily concentrated in China means that China has accumulated and accounts for a really broad swath of the world’s emissions, including in some of the sectors that are hardest to decarbonize, like steel-making, cement manufacturing, et cetera. So a lot of those really hard-to-abate or hard-to-decarbonize sectors are concentrated in China. And that makes it a really key player, just from a climate and energy perspective. China is the world’s largest energy consumer.

Apart from that China has, just from a political and diplomatic standpoint, come to play a really important role in international climate negotiations and international climate policy. So China is a key actor from that perspective, as well. So it’s kind of the combination of economic, political, diplomatic, and ecological energy dimensions that China plays such an important role in global climate change and really is the most important single actor. China has, over the last two decades, become the largest manufacturer of wind and solar energy technology, as well. China is also a huge market for electric vehicles. So across a range of key clean energy technologies, China is a really important producer, and it’s also a really important market. And so it’s on the technological side, as well, that China is such an important player.

Stone: So China really is indispensable in the energy transition to decarbonization and to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement?

Moore: Absolutely.

Stone: As you just mentioned, we’re now in a time of increasing economic and geopolitical tension between China and developed countries. And this leads to a central question that you address in the book, and that is: Is China a collaborator when it comes to the transition to clean energy and climate sustainability, or is it a competitor, or both? What are your thoughts?

Moore: I do think it’s both, Andy. And your question gets back to a little bit of the background on this book and why I wanted to write it. When I was working at the State Department, and we were working with our Chinese counterparts so intensely on the Paris Agreement talks, we often referred to climate change as the “bright spot” in U.S./China relations. In other words, it was really the best and most promising example of where the two countries were able to work together. Even at the time, relations were pretty rocky on a bunch of other issues. They’ve gotten much worse since then, but they were rocky even at the time. And climate change really looked to us like it was the great exception.

Unfortunately, one of the big trends that you’ve seen over the last decade or so has been that these broader tensions in the U.S/China relationship have increasingly spilled over into climate change. And the best and clearest example of that was this past summer, when, in response to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Beijing suspended climate dialogue with the United States in response and retaliation for her visit. They have since lifted that suspension, so U.S/China climate talks and dialogue has resumed, but what that incident may clear is that tensions over issues like Taiwan, human rights, et cetera, have increasingly spilled over into climate change, and climate change is no longer the bright spot that it once appeared to be. So unfortunately it has proven to be the case that climate change is no longer all about cooperation. It is also influenced by the growing tension, rivalry, and competition that we see between China and other countries.

And it’s also worth mentioning that although the U.S. and China are the best examples of how this tension and competition has spilled over into climate change, it’s also proven true to a lesser degree with respect to Europe. The European Union in particular had long had climate change as one of, if not the top issue in its relationship with China. And just over the last year or so, senior E.U. officials have begun to temper what was previously a cooperative attitude towards China with respect to climate change and have been much more skeptical of China’s actions in the climate and energy space. So across the board, we’ve seen geopolitics increasingly shape climate change relationships with China, as much as economic or energy issues.

Stone: It’s very interesting because you write about the arc in the relationship between China and developed countries in the West from a relationship of collaboration primarily back in the 1990s. And this is when China’s economy was really starting to pick up to one of more competitive relationship today. There’s a particularly revealing passage in the book that I just want to quote from here for just a moment and ask for your comments on. But I think it really talks about what China’s motivations are today in terms of addressing climate and technology issues and the increasing competitiveness. And here’s that little passage: “Deep normative differences between China and the West, in terms of what it means to protect the planet and why, makes it hard to conjure a truly common vision of sustainable development and unwise to bank on wide-ranging cooperation to solve the world’s climate crisis.” Can you comment on that passage?

Moore: I do think underlying all of this — and it’s not just climate change, but some of the other issues that I talk about in the book, other shared challenges like, as I mentioned, biodiversity and others, as well. There is a sharp difference of values that I think does help to explain why cooperation between the U.S., China, and other countries on climate change and other environmental issues has not been as successful as we might have hoped. And it’s also worth stressing that things like suspending climate talks are some of the clearest indications of how deteriorating relations and geopolitics have affected the fight against climate change. But it’s also, I think, true that just at a broader level, U.S./China cooperation, cooperation between China and other countries, has really not to date had nearly as much of a material impact on reducing emissions as we would have hoped. And I think there’s really kind of a general failure of global cooperation and U.S./China cooperation that cries out for explanation, which is one of the things that I hope the book can contribute to — helping to explain why that failure has been so acute, and of course how we can try to avoid that failure in the future.

But I think at root, that failure is because of deep differences in values when it comes to the environment and sustainability. And so in the book, I talk about China’s general approach to environmental policy, which has for the most part very different motivations to those of the West and in countries like the U.S. There are some overlaps, so one motivation that does overlap, I think, with that of the West and the U.S. is the idea that investment in clean technology and in more sustainable economic models can help to power future growth and create new industries, create jobs. That’s a motivation that very much resonates in Beijing as much as it does in Washington or Berlin or Brussels or other capitals. So that is shared, but I think once you get beyond that, the motivations for environmental and energy policies do look quite different.

The one that I focus most on in the book is environmental degradation as a source of protest and social instability, which is significant in China. Again, one of the things I talk about is the example of several countries that are in the process of overthrowing authoritarian regimes and becoming democracies experienced a sharp increase in environmental protests. And that is particularly true in the case of Taiwan, which of course is an example that is deeply disconcerting to China’s leaders. The statistic is something like environmental protests accounted for something like 40 to 50% of all protests that preceded the dissolution of Taiwan’s military government towards the end of the 1980s. Similar, though less dramatic examples can be found in the democratization of South Korea, Japan, Central and Eastern European countries, as well.

So it’s an example that haunts China’s leaders, and you’ve seen over the last 30 years a steadily increasing effort to really try to nip potential sources of environmental protest in the bud and to co-opt any sort of popular environmental movement. The result of that is that environmentalism and environmental policy in China just looks very different from the West and in countries like the U.S. It’s much more state-centric, much more dominated by governmental and state actors. And the role of civil society and non-governmental actors is much more carefully circumscribed. And in general there’s an approach that I, following others, call “authoritarian environmentalism,” that I talk about in the book. And I think that very different values that that reflect make it hard to really cooperate on shared environmental challenges.

Stone: It sounds like China, in the Communist Party’s response to environmental challenges — and energy is very much tied into that response — that’s all critical to maintaining the legitimacy of the Communist Party, to maintaining its power that informs and directs the way innovation and the response to climate in many technological areas is handled in China. It’s very much a top-down, state-directed approach to technology, industry, and sustainability. I wonder if you could tell us some more about that approach.

Moore: Yes, you’re absolutely right. That, incidentally, is another source of tension that makes it difficult to really construct a truly cooperative response, particularly to climate change. The kind of state-centered and heavy state-oriented role that you see in environmental policy is also replicated in most economic sectors and with respect to technological development, including in renewables where there’s really a heavy role for policy direction and direct policy support, sometimes really direct subsidies by the state for the development of new technology. And this was true of wind and solar going back a decade or so, as well.

And one of the consequences of that has been allegations from other countries — the U.S., Germany, others, as well — that the heavy involvement of the state created unfair advantages for Chinese producers of particularly renewable energy technology, but some other technologies, as well, that are critical to decarbonization. And that source of trade tension has also become a pretty big issue and barrier to expanded U.S./China cooperation. It’s maybe worth pointing out that an argument I often make is if you were just sort of sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and putting politics and political realities aside for a moment, and your objective was: What’s the best plan to fight climate change?

Probably a key part of what you would come up with is, “Let’s use China’s manufacturing economies of scale to churn out wind and solar power and electric vehicles as cheaply as possible,” because in most every case, China remains the lowest-cost producer of a lot of those key, clean energy technologies. So you would probably say, “Let’s make this stuff in China because it’s going to be lowest cost, and then let’s export it around the world, and let’s use for the most part foreign intellectual property for the designs for that technology.” So in other words, the intellectual property for the most part is going to be coming from outside China. China’s role in this ecosystem is going to be to make the stuff at lowest cost. And then we’re just going to export it and spread it around the world.

That would probably be the best plan, just from a — how do we get renewables and clean tech out there as quickly and cheaply as possible? The problem with that is that, due in part to these concerns and allegations over unfair trade practices on the part of the Chinese state and Chinese firms, that’s not politically tenable in most other countries. So if you look at the U.S. in particular, direction of policy has been to say, “We’re certainly supportive of spreading wind and solar and other clean technology, but we’re going to make it here at home. We’re not going to rely on Chinese manufactured products, even if they’re lowest cost.” So it’s that sort of political/economic factor that has really shaped, and in some ways warped, the world’s clean tech ecosystem and the deployment of renewables.

Stone: You discussed quite a bit in the book this issue of innovation and the state’s role in producing or incentivizing or disincentivizing innovation. And I’m not sure if that really applies more to the areas of artificial intelligence and biomedical technologies. I wonder if you could talk here about the role of the state in innovation or otherwise? Does this influence the energy industry at all and China’s relative advantages or disadvantages in the production of solar and wind technologies and what have you?

Moore: I should maybe point out that the focus of our conversation is really on the sustainability and especially the climate issues that I cover in the book. But I do look as well at kind of a whole segment of emerging technologies. And I do that in the book for two reasons. One, it’s the case that emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, autonomous systems, are actually playing a pretty significant role in where decarbonization technologies are headed, whether it’s optimization of energy grids or deployment of new forms of clean energy technologies. It’s also just true that when you think about cooperation with China and what the need is to engage China, just as it’s a huge player in sustainability, it’s also a huge player when it comes to almost any emerging technology. And artificial intelligence is one of the best examples of that.

So where I think your question really comes into play with respect to climate and energy is when it comes to not current, relatively mature technology, with your kind of standard polysilicon solar panel — it’s pretty mature, pretty commercialized technology. There, China has a lot of advantages just because of economies of scale and manufacturing, as we talked about on the deployment side. But it’s on the development side where China does have some challenges relative to its foreign competitors. And that’s one reason I say that probably the best kind of complementarity would be to use foreign intellectual property, which for the most part does remain the most advanced in most clean tech sectors and market segments, just using China’s manufacturing and economies of scale. So it’s really thinking about the next generation of clean technology that those disincentives, when it comes to development, come into play. And what those disincentives look like have to do, for the most part, as you hinted at, with just the larger role of the state in shaping how research gets done and how funding and other resources for research and development get allocated.

There’s no perfect system for that allocation, but because China’s approach to that is so heavily state-dominated, you do tend to see just a lot of inefficiency. And it’s everything from traditional problems where, if you have governments and bureaucrats trying to pick winners and trying to identify the next most promising technologies, that doesn’t have a very good track record — to just generally inefficient spending. All of those things make it, in my view, less likely that China is going to be able to produce the biggest advances, both in clean technology and in other fields. And I think those advances are more likely to come from research elsewhere.

Stone: China has seen it to be very important to be viewed as a leader on climate, not as a follower, and in particular not a follower to the U.S. or to the European Union. And I guess this is one of the areas of intangible signs of leadership that I think China is very aware of. China has been very heavily criticized for supporting fossil fuel developments through its Belt and Road Initiative, through which it has also worked to secure energy and mineral resources. And here, China seems to be pushing forward or competing with little regard to climate or sustainability matters, although in 2021 it did pledge to stop funding coal projects abroad. How does the Belt and Road Initiative tie into China’s role and its status, I guess more on a political front in terms of leadership in addressing climate issues, sustainability, and clean energy?

Moore: This is another key way in which China just affects every aspect, or almost every aspect, of global sustainability. And it’s through overseas investment as one of the world’s largest economies, the second largest economy. China is a key source of investment in countries across the world, as varied as Cambodia, Argentina, even countries like Afghanistan. China is a significant source of investment, and because of that, importance.

China plays an enormous role in shaping sustainability. One of the most visible ways in which it does that is as a source of infrastructure financing. And it’s there where the Belt and Road really comes into play because although not all of Chinese foreign investment is through the Belt and Road Initiative, what the Belt and Road Initiative does do is gather together under one sort of umbrella most of China’s large infrastructure investments abroad. And for that reason, it has attracted, as you pointed out, a lot of criticism for its effect, both on emissions, as well as biodiversity and other sustainability-related issues.

So basically the Belt and Road to date has had a negative impact environmentally, both from an emissions standpoint and from a biodiversity standpoint, because for the most part, Chinese financing has gone to constructing very large infrastructure projects and energy sector investments in fossil fuels that probably would not have occurred otherwise — which is to say that had those projects depended on other sources of financing from outside of China, most of them probably wouldn’t have been built. So in that sense, it’s a net negative. That being said, as you pointed out, China did undertake a commitment to stop financing overseas coal plants, at least beyond those already under construction, in 2021. That’s a positive sign, but it is worth pointing out that most of China’s energy sector investment overseas, both through the Belt and Road and other channels, does remain devoted to fossil fuels. And in particular, China remains very heavily involved in oil and gas extraction around the world. So it’s far from fossil-free.

The second thing to say is that over time, China has put forward a number of commitments to make Belt and Road projects more sustainable. There hasn’t been a lot of concrete sign of that so far, but I don’t think they are empty promises. I do think what we can expect to see is a reduction in the volume of Belt and Road projects and the incorporation of at least a few better practices from a sustainability point of view.

So not good, and it’s been a net-negative over the last five or so years, but there are some signs that it’s improving and getting a little better. I think the big sort of push at task now is to really to try to build on the success, I think, of the phase-out of coal plant financing and really broaden that to be most, if not all, fossil fuel infrastructure — especially oil and gas.

Stone: I’d like to take a step back just for a moment, back to the conversation we had around collaboration and competition. I think so far in this conversation, collaboration has been characterized as something being generally good, and competition maybe not. But you also point out in your writing that competition is not necessarily a bad thing when we’re looking at the energy transition and dealing with climate — that some good can come out of it. Could you talk about that?

Moore: Thanks for bringing that up, Andy. I do think that’s an important point that became apparent to me in writing the book. Just to take a quick step back, it’s also axiomatic, and it’s certainly pretty intuitive that if we’re going to solve climate change, we need cooperation. We need cooperation between the U.S. and China, and really between all countries. And that is true to a certain extent, but I think there are at least a couple of cases and situations in which you don’t necessarily need cooperation, and in which competition might even be helpful. And there are two particular examples of that, that I’ll just mention briefly, one of which I cover in the book, and one of which happened a little bit more recently.

So I wanted to talk a little bit about in the book is the development and deployment of more advanced clean energy technologies. Right now, wind and solar are, as I mentioned, pretty mature technology, commercially available in most parts of the world — generally pretty cost-competitive. However, we are going to need a lot more clean technology, and in many ways, a lot more advanced clean technology in order to decarbonize by the end of this century. We are going to, in particular, need better storage, probably more efficient solar panels, certainly a lot of work in electric vehicle technology, electrification of sectors like aviation, deployment of hydrogen. The list kind of goes on. And it’s really in that space, when we get to the next generation of clean technology, that I think competition can be helpful.

I mentioned that I think China has some disadvantages when it comes to basic research and development. Nonetheless, China is trying very hard to address some of those shortcomings through increased investment. And in some cases, that investment has actually created a little bit of a competition and an arm race with other countries. An example of that that we saw is the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a fair amount of financing for clean energy technology development and deployment. And in his message to Congress saying essentially, “If you pass this bill, I will sign it,” President Biden specifically referred to the need for this legislation and this money to help the United States compete more effectively with China.

So to the extent that that kind of competition leads to more wind and solar and leads to more investment in the kind of technology that we need going forward, I think it can be helpful, rather than harmful to the climate. Another example that’s a little bit more tentative and recent but could potentially be quite impactful is just that at COP27, the climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh that you also attended, we saw a really interesting development where other developing countries really started to harangue China for increased adaptation financing. And that was really encouraged by the U.S. and its allies as a way of kind of isolating China. And it proved pretty effective, in that China eventually conceded to the creation of a separate loss and damage fund that would be available to the most vulnerable developing countries, so presumably not China itself. Now it’s a little bit early to say whether that’s going to have any kind of material impact in terms of helping the poorest and most vulnerable countries effectively adapt to climate change, but if it does, I think you can say that geopolitical competition and rivalry had something of a positive outcome on a key aspect of climate policy.

Stone: As a final topic here, I want to extend this conversation on the COP process. We were just talking about adaptation, loss and damage, but obviously China is very, very important in mitigation of carbon emissions, as well. As we talked about at the beginning of this conversation, it’s the largest emitter in the world, the largest consumer of fossil fuels. China has dedicated itself or announced that it will be carbon-neutral by 2060, peak its emissions by the end of this decade. It’s notable that China was so central in the finalization of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. It was last-minute conversations between the U.S. and China that pushed that agreement over the edge into success.

But looking at where we are this year, China has played a lower-profile role, particularly in Egypt at COP last November. And in 2023, this year, mitigation will again be highlighted at COP28. That’s going to happen in the United Arab Emirates. How is China framing its role globally in its leadership in terms of addressing mitigation? Again, given that its targets are relatively far out, the developed world — the European Union and hopefully the United States — will continue with its plans to mitigate much more quickly?

Moore: It’s worth just backing up to say that China’s headline climate commitment, which is a very significant one, given, as you pointed out, its status as the world’s largest emitter, is to become carbon-neutral on a net basis by 2060. Incidentally, China is also a major source of other non-CO2 greenhouse gases, most notably methane. There has been a little bit of prevarication as to whether China’s net-zero target applies to non-CO2 greenhouse gases. There was a period in which that was the message from official sources. It has since been walked back. But that, nonetheless, even if it applies only to CO2 is extremely important and ambitious, given the size of China’s emissions overall, commitment that Beijing has made. It is, as you pointed out a 2060 target, which puts it a little bit later than some of the other headline commitments. The E.U.’s commitment is 2050. Japan’s net-zero target is 2050, as well. But nonetheless, for the size of its economy and emissions, it’s an ambitious and important target as a general matter.

What that target did, and it was announced in 2020, was to really separate out China from other large, developing economies, especially India, Brazil, and others that had resisted making kind of a similarly ambitious commitment. And for that reason, China kind of put itself in a different league when it came to its emissions commitments and its role in mitigation. One of the dangers or vulnerabilities of doing that, though, is it also attracted a lot of scrutiny. So there has been a lot of skepticism as to whether China can meet those commitments. It actually does look fairly feasible. It’s going to require an investment of something on the order of 4% of GDP per year over the next 30 years or so. But for the entire energy sector, that doesn’t seem like an enormously heavy lift for China. There are some technical hurdles, but again, with enough investment of research and development.

The biggest hurdle, I think, is just going to be sustaining political prioritization of the target over that 30-year period. Even though China is an authoritarian country with much greater stability of leadership — that is the case in most democracies. That’s a long time to assume that there’s going to be a high level of commitment to a very long-term target. And what we’ve seen in between there is that the pressures of getting out of the pandemic, trying to give a shot in the arm to a somewhat lackluster economy has already created pressures to slow down decarbonization targets in order to reduce the costs borne by industry, for example.

Stone: You know, it’s very interesting — this is a last comment here — the point that you just brought out, right? China is still a developing economy. It is kind of in a unique position because of its size, because of its economic heft, that it is now being compared to in its ambition on climate — is being compared to developed countries. It is still a developing country, and then you also put very nicely into perspective who are its peers? Its peers may be more like countries such as India in this whole process, right?

Moore: Correct, yes. The final sort of note on this going forward is that I think climate change is probably the area in which China has been most successful in portraying itself as an equal or a peer with the kind of other great powers of the world, especially the United States and the European Union. I think just from a diplomatic perspective and a political perspective, that’s enormously important for Beijing. I think that that’s a role that they would certainly like to continue to keep playing, but I think one of the interesting things about this latest climate conference was that sense of isolation, really, on the part of China and isolation both from other developing countries, and certainly isolation from the very countries that it would like to be seen as peers with — the United States and the European Union.

So I think that’s a very interesting dynamic to watch going forward. That’s kind of an additional political or geopolitical aspect to climate change. Maybe I could just end with an observation that I think is increasingly true. We’re seeing climate change really become shaped as much by geopolitics as by energy, environment, or economics, as it has been in the past. And that geopolitical component is especially important when it comes to China.

Stone: Scott, thanks very much for talking.

Moore: Thank you so much, Andy. It’s always a pleasure.


Scott Moore

Director, Penn Global China Program
Scott Moore is a former senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and director of the Penn Global China Program.

Andy Stone

Energy Policy Now Host and Producer
Andy Stone is producer and host of Energy Policy Now, the Kleinman Center’s podcast series. He previously worked in business planning with PJM Interconnection and was a senior energy reporter at Forbes Magazine.