Wednesday, September 30, 2009

China at the Crossroads

A panel of experts convened at The Commonwealth Club last night for a look at the pivotal role China will play in the development of a post-downturn, 21st century global economy.

Recent studies from economic and environmental agencies alike point to the heavy influence China exerts on our daily lives, driving up fossil fuel prices and contributing to the quality (or lack thereof) of the very air we breathe.

According to a two-year study by U.S.-based Energy Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, if China continues to grow at its current pace, its annual greenhouse gas emissions would reach 17 billion tons by 2050 - accounting for 60 percent of all emissions worldwide and easily supplanting the U.S. as the world's biggest "greenhouse gas gorilla." The fast-approaching U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen has identified discourse between China and the U.S. as a turning point in the fight against global warming.

Addressing these and other issues were Felicia Marcus, Barbara Finamore and Gao Jie of the National Resources Defense Council, which works in the U.S. and Beijing to preserve and protect the environment. Joining them were Peter Liu, founder and vice chairman of New Resource Bank, an FDIC-member community bank with expertise in funding green and sustainable businesses.

For more information on upcoming events, check us out at A China-related event of note is Lynne Joiner speaking about "Honorable Survivor: Mao's China, McCarthy's America and the Persecution of John S. Service" on October 7. For a list of upcoming climate and environmental programs, see our Climate One series of events and our Environment & Natural Resources Member-Led Forum events.

--By Andrew Harrison


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