Founded in 1993, the interdisciplinary Harvard-China Project, based in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, conducts peer-reviewed research on China’s economy, energy, atmospheric environment (both air pollution and greenhouse gases), and environmental health. The Project pursues two collaborative mandates: crossing disciplines and schools at Harvard and integrating Harvard-based research efforts with work by affiliates at Chinese universities.
It has built up research capacities in a range of fields: atmospheric transport and chemistry modeling; atmospheric measurement at a station near Beijing operated jointly with Tsinghua University; bottom-up assessment of air pollution and GHG emissions; investigation of renewable and low-carbon electric power potentials, including grid integration; general equilibrium modeling of China’s economy and energy use; modeling health impacts of pollution exposures and valuation of health risk; analyses of urban transport, land use, and environment; and integrated assessments of the economic and environmental costs and benefits of national policies to control emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
The Project currently involves eight active faculty members from four Harvard schools and around fifteen collaborating professors in China, from disciplines ranging across natural, applied, and health sciences, economics, law, public policy, and other fields.
The Project hosts regular research seminars and occasional university-wide public lectures, as well as research symposia at Harvard and in China.
Michael McElroy, Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies, is the Chair of the China Project, while Chris Nielsen serves as the Executive Director. Dale W. Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris University Professor, leads the major economics component of the Project.
The Harvard-China Project is the proud and appreciative recipient of the first anchor grant from the Harvard Global Institute under the Office of President Drew Faust, providing major funding for pursuit of the Project's "China 2030/2050" research theme (see video below). The HGI award supports new and expanded studies, scholarly exchanges, educational activities, and public events across the Project's fields of scholarship, emphasizing collaborative work with partners on the ground in China.
The Harvard-China Project also appreciates the core support of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which provides it with a physical home, related services, and an innovation-driven community that embraces bridging from sciences and engineering to all other fields of scholarly inquiry, across Harvard and around the world.
Other major funders of the Harvard-China Project have included the Energy Foundation China, the National Science Foundation (grants ATM-1019134 and ATM-0635548), the Henry Luce Foundation, the Volvo Research Foundations, the Ford Motor Company Foundation, the Bedminster Foundation, the Dunwalke Trust, and the Kernan Brothers Fellowship, as well as the two major funders that supported the launch of the China Project: the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy (grant DE-FG02-95ER62133).
Additional funders have included the Harvard Climate Change Solutions Fund, Ash Center Hui Fund for Generating Powerful Ideas, Ingrid Kuok, the China Three Gorges Power Company, the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Cheung Yan Fund of the Harvard Department of Economics, the Harvard China Fund, the Smeltzer Fund, the Harvard Asia Center, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Thornton Foundation, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Global Environmental Change, the Pacific Basin Research Center, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and several anonymous foundations.
Harvard Climate Change Experts Focus on China