Year in Review | Top 10 Activities of 2016

Celebrating 5 years!

In the last five years, through research and programs, we’ve been devoted to strengthening U.S.-China relations and advancing sustainable growth and environmental protection in both countries. We have built out our Think Tank and cross-border investment initiative, and developed programs on the ground in China focused on green finance, sustainable urbanization, and conservation. We are proud of what we have achieved and look forward to further progress in the rest of 2017.

Below, a snapshot of the Institute’s key 2016 activities:

  1. April: Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson met with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing

Paulson and President Xi met in Beijing in April 2016, and discussed China’s economic reforms and U.S-China relations. Xi said that China will continue to advance supply-side structural reform and that China’s reform and opening up will not stop. Paulson stressed the importance of U.S.-China relations and pointed out that many cooperation achievements in various fields such as trade and the economy, the environment, and climate change have played a positive role in advancing bilateral relations. Paulson said he hoped that the two sides can work together to push ahead with the negotiations on a bilateral investment deal and further the overall development of U.S.-China relations.

  1. April: Co-hosted China-Brazil Sustainable Soy Trade Workshop

The Sustainable Soy Trade Platform was launched in 2015 by the Paulson Institute, Solidaridad, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund to advance exchange and communication between soy producers, traders and importers. In 2016, the Platform facilitated the signing of a groundbreaking MOU between the China Soybean Industry Association, Aprosoja (the soy farmers’ association of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso), and ABIOVE (Brazilian Vegetable Oil Production Association) to cooperate on promoting sustainable soy. The Institute continued to engage top international soy traders and Chinese importers to work towards a joint commitment aimed at removing illegal deforestation from the China-Brazil soy supply chain.

  1. May: Organized a training program in the U.S. for Chinese national park experts

In May, the Paulson Institute hosted 22 experts responsible for China’s protected areas for a study tour on environmental governance and the national park system in the United States. The delegation attended lectures by U.S. National Park Service officials and conservation experts. They also visited several national parks, where they met with park managers and other experts to learn about all aspects of the national park system, including legislation, governance, and management policies for natural and cultural resources, as well as for commercial services and tourism.

  1. June: The U.S.-China Building Efficiency and Green Development Fund signed first letters of intent, with Paulson Institute as a non-commercial advisor

The U.S.-China Building Energy Efficiency and Green Development Fund, a public-private partnership established in 2015 with the help of the Paulson Institute, aims to provide financing to bring U.S. technologies to bear in the fight the reduce emissions and pollution in China. It will also serve as a model for funding crucial clean-tech investment. In June 2016, the fund signed its first letters of intent for investment projects, in cooperation with the municipal governments of Zhenjiang and Zhangjiakou cities.

  1. June: Published Financing Energy Efficient Buildings at Scale in Chinese Cities

The green building financing paper, written by Paulson Institute’s Kevin Mo, was released at the second China-U.S. Climate Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit in Beijing. The paper estimates that China will need to invest RMB 1.65 trillion ($254 billion) in the next five years to support the construction of greener buildings and the retrofits of existing inefficient buildings. The report outlines financial mechanisms that could push the green building market forward.

  1. July: Co-hosted Power Sector Roundtable in Beijing and published Going for Gold: Championing Renewable Integration in Jing-Jin-Ji

By highlighting renewable energy successes in Germany and Texas, the paper Going for Gold recommends that the Jing-Jin-Ji region encompassing Beijing and Zhangjiakou, the two host cities of 2022 Winter Olympics, has the potential to use the upcoming Games as a catalyst to become a national model for renewable energy integration and air quality improvement.

  1. July: Organized the Fourth Annual Mayors Training Program

The Institute’s Mayors Training Program empowers local policymakers to see best practices in U.S. cities up close and to explore how to implement sustainable practices in cities across China. In July 2016, in cooperation with the China Association of Mayors, the Institute hosted its fourth sustainability training program for 18 local leaders responsible for running the mega-city of Tianjin. The delegation visited Chicago for intensive classroom training, and Los Angeles, a major shipping port city like Tianjin. As the cities share similarities in terms of geography and industry, L.A. can serve as an example for Tianjin to learn from its urban management experience and promotion of urban sustainable development.

  1. October: Co-convened International Symposium on Coastal Wetlands and Waterbird Conservation in Beidaihe

In October 2016, the Paulson Institute co-convened an International Symposium on Coastal Wetlands and Waterbird Conservation in Beidaihe with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), the Wetland Management Center of the State Forestry Administration, and the Hebei Provincial Government. The Symposium aimed to improve conservation of the endangered wetlands in Hebei as identified by the Coastal Wetland Conservation Blueprint Project in China – undertaken by the Institute with Chinese partners in 2015.

  1. October: Convened the Third Annual Meeting of the CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization

During the annual meeting of the CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization, co-hosted by Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson and CCIEE Chairman Zeng Peiyan, Paulson called on member companies to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a work priority in 2017. The CEO Council was founded with the aim of bringing together top U.S. and Chinese business leaders to collaborate on projects that will become models for sustainable business.

  1. November: Published the first Paulson book, The Economics of Air Pollution in China, by Ma Jun, Chief Economist of the People’s Bank of China

In 2016, the Think Tank produced its first book, The Economics of Air Pollution in China, by Ma Jun, chief economist of the People’s Bank of China and former China economist at Deutsche Bank. The book is edited in English by Think Tank Associate Director and Fellow Damien Ma. Also in 2016, the Think Tank published numerous policy papers and investment case studies including Demystifying Chinese Investment in the United States, an investment paper by Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson, analyzing investment challenges and offering practical advice useful to both policymakers and Chinese potential investors alike.