China’s Energy & Environment Challenge

Over the past three decades, China’s remarkable economic growth has raised hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and improved living standards on a scale unrivaled in economic history. This rapid expansion in energy and the dramatic growth it has fueled has transformed the country into one of the world’s most important economic powers. It has also, however, had profound environmental consequences. Chinese citizens breathe some of the world’s most polluted air, leading to serious health problems and shortened lives. China has also become the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, making it critical to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Chinese policymakers have begun implementing an ambitious agenda to address these challenges. Since 2013, China has made incredible progress in its “war on pollution,” with particulate pollution levels dropping by 20 to 40 percent in major cities. Yet, as policymakers continue to work toward additional improvements that produce cleaner air, water, and soil without sacrificing economic growth, it will be crucial to identify the most cost effective and efficient policies available.

EPIC-China’s Approach

EPIC has developed a successful model for addressing the world’s most difficult energy and environmental challenges. At its core, the EPIC model focuses on producing data driven, tested research insights in partnership with local, regional, and national governments. Our process helps ensure that the right questions are being asked, solutions are tested on the ground and rigorously measured, and results can be scaled up into successful policies. EPIC is committed to working with governments in the regions and countries of the world that are at the center of these critical issues, including in China.

“EPIC-China takes the established research and existing partnerships of UChicago faculty to the next level. Alongside our Chinese partners, our aim is to conduct ground-breaking research on how to ensure access to inexpensive and reliable energy while meeting China’s ambitious pollution-reduction goals. This work could bring long-lasting benefits not just to China, but also to the rest of the world.”

Michael Greenstone, Director, EPIC