History

1993 - The China Project was launched under the Harvard University Committee on Environment, established by President Neil Rudenstine to foster ties across schools of Harvard in environmental research and education.

 

1994 - Facilitated by State Councilor Song Jian, scholars from five major Chinese universities and institutions officially joined collaborations with the China Project.

 

1995 - The first in a four-symposia series on the interdisciplinary theme of “Reconciling Economic Growth, Energy Use, and Environmental Protection in China” was held in Cambridge, with Chinese and American scientists, economists, and policy-makers.



1998 - Energizing China: Reconciling Environmental Protection and Economic Growth (Harvard University Press)—a survey of the science, public health, economics, history, international relations, and policy of environment in China—was published.

 

1999-02 - Three more Project-wide symposia were held in Beijing or Cambridge, in 1999, 2000, and 2002.

 

2004 - A permanent atmospheric station was deployed in Miyun, north of Beijing, in a partnership of the China Project and Tsinghua University. The station has collected high-precision, independent observations of greenhouse gases and air pollutants for atmospheric research ever since.

 

2005-16 - The China Project and Peking University conducted a household survey investigating travel behavior, land use and perceptions of environmental health risk of Chengdu residents. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2016, yielding insight into the rapid changes taking place in the Chinese city over a decade.

 

2007 - Clearing the Air: The Health and Economic Damages of Air Pollution in China (MIT Press)—a multidisciplinary integrated assessment of the economic and environmental health costs and benefits of pollution controls in China—was published.

 

2007-09 - The China Project published groundbreaking studies decomposing how traffic restrictions, other pollution controls, and weather affected Beijing air quality during the Sino-African Summit in 2006 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, informing longer-term air quality planning.

 

2009 - China Project paper “Potential for Wind Generated Electricity in China” was the cover article of Science.

 

2013 - Clearer Skies Over China: Reconciling Air Quality, Climate, and Economic Goals (MIT Press)—integrating the China Project’s economic and atmospheric models to assess the economic, health and agricultural costs and benefits of China’s air pollution policies and prospective carbon taxes—was published.

 

2014 - Nobel Prize-winning economist Michael Spence, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke in a China Project public lecture series titled “China 2035: Energy, Climate, and Development.” A symposium on the theme was held at the Harvard Center Shanghai with leading Chinese and Harvard researchers.

 

2015 - Led by President Drew Faust, the newly-established Harvard Global Institute awarded a multi-year major grant to the China Project in recognition of its long-established strengths in U.S.-China research collaborations. The award helped the Project expand its research across disciplines, launch field research studies and undergraduate programs in China, and expand its public events and bilingual communications.

 

2016 - Nature Index featured the China Project as an exemplar of international scientific collaborations, spotlighting Project researchers studying the carbon cycle in its cover article and video.

 

2016-18 - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario Molina, and former State Grid President Liu Zhenya spoke to capacity audiences in the China Project public lecture series on the theme of “China 2030/2050: Energy and Environmental Challenges for the Future.”

 

2017-18 - The China Project sent thirty Harvard undergraduates to China to learn about the country's environmental challenges firsthand. The following year, the China Project sent 7 students to partner with faculty at Chinese institutions to complete research projects on energy and the environment.

 

2018 - A Chinese translation of Energy and Climate: Vision for the Future (Oxford University Press)—a broad introduction to energy systems and their implications to climate change, including a comparison of the U.S. and China contexts—was published in Beijing.

 

2019 - A second China Project atmospheric station was deployed in Dashiwo, south of Beijing, partnering with Tsinghua University. Combined with Miyun station north of the city, researchers can now track changes in pollution as air passes from upwind to downwind of Beijing.