China is the world’s largest energy producer, energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter. Its energy and climate policies have profound effects on energy markets, geopolitics and the global environment.

The China Energy and Climate program at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA has three goals: (1) to promote low-carbon development in China and around the world, (2) to inform stakeholders about Chinese energy and climate policies and (3) to promote cooperation between China and the US on energy and climate issues. To help achieve those goals, we produce objective, data-driven research, leveraging our home within a world-class university and deep relationships with Chinese research institutes and senior policymakers. We host conferences, roundtable discussions and off-the-record conversations with senior officials and thought leaders. We pay special attention to helping train the next generation.

Our theory of change is straightforward: informed dialogue helps promote change. We produce reliable, trusted research and analysis. We disseminate that research and analysis with many tools and on a wide range of platforms. We convene dialogues with key stakeholders, ranging from large on-the-record public events broadcast on multiple media channels to private off-the-record conversations. We help train tomorrow’s leaders.

Led by David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow at the Center and a former senior official at the White House, State Department and U.S. Department of Energy, the program draws on the expertise of the Center’s Fellows, Advisory Board and Faculty Affiliates in departments across Columbia University including the Law School, Business School, Earth Institute and School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The program also draws on the expertise of Columbia University graduate students, including the more than 150 Chinese graduate students enrolled at SIPA each year. Columbia University’s extensive alumni network in China provides invaluable insights, relationships and support. Columbia University’s Global Center in the Haidian District of Beijing provides a venue for events and staff resources to assist the work of the program.

Guide to Chinese Climate Policy 

The Guide to Chinese Climate Policy by David Sandalow explores the impacts of climate change in China, and the effectiveness of policies designed to address climate change.

Read the Guide

Featured Research

China Sinopec

Dr. Erica Downs and Sheng Yan explore the implications of the establishment of the China Oil & Gas Piping Network Corporation (PipeChina) on global gas markets.

China renewables
Anders Hove

In a new commentary, Anders Hove examines China’s recent energy policy announcements and their implications for the 14th Five-Year Plan, which will set energy policy for the period from 2021–2025.

David Sandalow and Xu Qinhua

The Center on Global Energy Policy and Center for International Energy and Environment Strategy Studies at Renmin University convened a joint Zoom workshop on green stimulus programs in the US and China. This summary highlights the main points of the discussion. 


Columbia Energy Exchange

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David Sandalow & Erica Downs
CGEP Inaugural Fellow & CGEP Senior Research Scholar

As China’s reported number of coronavirus cases hovers close to zero and the country begins charting an ambitious economic recovery, one question emerging is how the pandemic affects China’s outlook for energy and...

Rep. Garret Graves
Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

Climate change has not been a popular topic with Republicans in the U.S. Congress in recent years. Some deny the phenomenon is even happening, and others simply avoid the topic altogether. But that’s changing in the U.S. House of Representatives...

Dr. Erica Downs
Center on Global Energy Policy

After going on for nearly two years, the Trump administration’s trade war with China has taken a new turn with a so-called phase-one agreement. Among the terms of the...