The Visitor Leadership Program is the State Department’s primary professional exchange program, in which promising foreign leaders from various fields engage with their American counterparts. The program catalyzes lasting cross-cultural relationships that benefit each participants’ professional interests and bolster U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Facilitated through the citizen diplomacy nonprofit organization WorldChicago, last week Clean Energy Trust met with five leaders from varying Chinese cities and industries. Participating organizations, highlighted below, included those addressing environmental protection, sustainable development policy, and cleantech business development.
- Center for Sustainable Hydropower, The Nature Conservancy: Launched in June 2015 as part of the Conservancy’s Great Rivers program, this Beijing-based center serves as a resource for governments, hydropower companies, and other stakeholders seeking to better understand and incorporate conservation practices into hydropower development plans.
- China Tianying Inc: CTYI is a Shanghai-based environmental protection and new energy enterprise engaged in the investment, building, operation, and maintenance of Chinese power generation plants.
- The Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21: ACCA21 conducts sustainable development policy and strategy research in order to provide support to Chinese government decision-making and build an international sustainable development information exchange network.
- The Regulatory Assistance Project: RAP is a non-governmental organization dedicated to accelerating the transition to a clean, reliable, and efficient energy future. RAP’s focus lies in the world’s largest power markets, being China, Europe, India, and the United States, as they are responsible for half of all power generation.
Our discussion emphasized the importance of early stage investment towards innovative, clean energy technologies that decrease the global threat of climate change.
One surprising learning that came from the discussion was the recognition that early stage cleantech development faces similar barriers in China as it does in the United States. This debunked our earlier misunderstanding that regulations and policies could be changed very quickly in the Chinese system. We learned this was not the case.
Clean Energy Trust is very grateful to the State Department and WorldChicago for connecting us with these like-minded individuals, as this global issue will increasingly require global collaboration moving forward.