It is rarely possible to conduct controlled experiments in the social sciences owing to the vast number of variables that, in a “real-world” setting, can almost never be manipulated to create the ideal experimental conditions. However, there are occasionally instances when the unintended effects of certain policies create circumstances that are like an experiment, called a natural experiment. When the combination of a vehicle restriction policy in Beijing and the Chinese superstition about the...
This spring the Harvard-China Project continued its investigations of the “China 2030/2050” theme sponsored by the Harvard Global Institute (HGI). Our community explored a number of pressing issues, including a Nature Energy paper on the environmental implications of electric vehicle charging in China. The research, which offers a strategy for reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality with electric vehicles in Beijing, was authored by a Harvard-Tsinghua...
To combat climate change, reduce air pollution, and establish greater energy independence, China has been pushing hard for a nation-wide transition to renewable energy, and is now home to the world’s largest market for wind-generated electricity. The installed capacity for wind generation in China accounts for over one third of the global total. Yet a paper recently published in Nature Scientific Reports and covered by the Washington Post found that climate change might be threatening wind power — one of the very strategies that countries are relying on to help them achieve the goal set forth in the Paris Agreement of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.... Read more about Commentary: Climate Change Might Be A Threat to Wind Power
This fall the Harvard-China Project continued its investigations of the “China 2030/2050” theme sponsored by the Harvard Global Institute (HGI). Our community continued its robust research into China's pressing environmental challenges, including the formation of haze pollution; the effects of carbon pricing policies; and the impact of climate change on renewable energy resources.... Read more about China Project Fall 2017 Newsletter
The Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment is pleased to announce that the Project’s faculty, researchers, and staff have adopted an open-access policy. They unanimously endorsed the policy on September 21, 2017 to grant Harvard a nonexclusive and worldwide right to distribute “the fruits of [their] research and scholarship as widely as possible.”... Read more about China Project Adopts an Open-Access Policy
This summer was active and fruitful for the Harvard-China Project and its investigations of the “China 2030/2050” theme sponsored by the Harvard Global Institute (HGI). Summer provided time for intensive research progress in fields as diverse as haze pollution chemistry; grid integration of renewable power; household consumption, welfare and inequality; valuing environmental health risk over time; the impacts of interprovincial trade on air pollution; the carbon cycle in northern China; and the effects of changing land use and income on travel behavior in Chengdu.... Read more about China Project Summer 2017 Newsletter
On August 4, China’s lead official on climate change, Minister XIE Zhenhua, hosted a research and policy consultation with Profs. Mike McELROY, Steve WOFSY, executive director Chris NIELSEN, and Project alumni Dr. ZHANG Hongjun (Holland & Knight, LLP) and Prof. LU Xi (Tsinghua University) at his offices in Beijing. Discussion topics included the state of U.S.-China engagement on climate and the growing role of subnational governments, disparate regional capacities for carbon control within China... Read more about High-Level Meetings with Ministers Xie and Li
Funded by generous scholarships from the Harvard Global Institute, a diverse group of thirty Harvard College undergraduate students traveled to China in August 2017 on a trip organized by the Harvard-China Project, the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentration, and Tsinghua University to learn about and experience China’s environmental challenges first-hand. While in China, the Harvard students participated in a two-week intensive summer program, joined by eighty students from China and other countries around the world.... Read more about China’s Environmental Challenges: Summer Undergraduate Program in Beijing 2017
Beginning in Spring 2017, the China Project is publishing a newsletter at the end of every academic semester, recounting our recent activities and latest research developments, as well as previewing some of our upcoming activities. The newsletters are available in both English and Chinese and in various printed and electronic forms. Click on the links below to download the Spring 2017 edition.... Read more about China Project Spring 2017 Newsletter
On February 8, 2017, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario Molina gave a public lecture to a capacity crowd in the Science Center, in which he discussed and compared air quality issues in megacities. Focusing on Mexico City and Beijing, he argued that cities can learn from each other and that fundamental scientific research remains essential to creative air quality solutions. The lecture was sponsored by the China Project, and co-sponsored by the Harvard Global Institute, the Harvard Center for the Environment, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health.
Project Economist Mun HO and Executive Director Chris NIELSEN have an op-ed in Fortune (and in Chinese at Fortune China) on the underappreciated reasons China's red alert air pollution episodes are proving so difficult to control. Factors range from atmospheric chemistry and meteorology to economics and...
Project Chair Prof. Michael MCELROY and several other Harvard faculty weighed in on the implications that a Trump administration poses for climate change in a recent Harvard Gazette article.
Prof. McElroy noted that even if the U.S. cedes leadership in climate impact and clean energy technology, “China most likely will continue to reduce its emissions regardless…because Chinese action is driven in part by rampant air pollution that the nation’s leadership has committed to address. The solutions there...
The China Project is featured in the cover article of Nature Index 2016 gauging the success of international research collaborations. Quoting Mike MCELROY and Bill MUNGER, the article highlights Project-supported research on the carbon cycle, based on observations at the China Project atmospheric station near Beijing as well as other sites in U.S. and Chinese forests.
There is also an accompanying short video that includes interviews with senior research fellow Bill MUNGER and students LIU Jialin and Archana DAYALU on-site at the beautiful Harvard Forest.