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Green Technology Innovation and Climate Cooperation Between the U.S., China, and Beyond

May 20, 2021

Maoliang Bu, visiting scholar from Nanjing University
Roger Raufer, Professor at HNC

SAIS Alumni Panelists:
Huihui Cheng
Anneliese Gegenheimer
Nicholas Manthey
Li Shuo

On the 20th of May 2021, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies’ (JHU SAIS) Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) virtually hosted a panel on Green Technology Innovation and Climate Cooperation Between the U.S., China, and Beyond. Opening remarks were made by Maoliang Bu, visiting scholar from Nanjing University. The event was moderated by Roger Raufer, Professor at HNC, and featured four JHU SAIS alumni, Huihui Cheng, Anneliese Gegenheimer, Nicholas Manthey, and Li Shuo. Cheng began the panel by discussing the increasing cooperation and competition between the two countries in the production of electric vehicles. In her view, “the best way to reduce emissions is clean energy,” which she believed “would most probably safeguard our planet’s future.” 

Meanwhile, Gegenheimer focused on how both countries could work together on the process of electrification. Gegenheimer noted how in the developing world, “most carbon emissions are actually coming from agricultural activity or attempts to undertake clean cooking.” Raufer pushed back meanwhile, stating that “there was a strong tradeoff to full electrification, which even though providing a degree of deep decarbonization, significantly damages agricultural lands.” Thereafter, Manthey spoke to the audience about the growth of “blockchain” technology, especially as various cryptocurrencies gain steam worldwide. Manthey noted that the development of blockchain “was opening up a new decentralized carbon finance” that “could help propel both countries not only into greater cooperation, but reduce the environmental stresses found in traditional paper currencies.” 

Finally, the last panelist Li Shuo focused on the parameters of cooperation and competition in the climate arena between the two powers. Shuo noted that electric trucks to carry and move goods were both “harbingers of a cleaner way of moving goods, but also dangerous because of the effects that both countries would face from job dispersals.” In tandem, Shuo noted that “carbon taxes could be an effective way to generate the necessary income for both countries to move towards a greener future.” Finally, the panelists broke out into breakout sessions where the audience could engage directly with them upon their field of specialization. The event thereafter was closed by program coordinator Amanda Bogan.