The University of Michigan will host an international conference that will focus on the key policy and technology imperatives for global sustainability, especially as they pertain to the United States and China. Developing sustainable societies is a major challenge for the 21st century. Policies developed by the United States and China will play an especially important role, since these two countries require nearly one-third of the total world energy expenditure to power their economies and are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Both countries have major industrial complexes, large urban population centers, and large expansive rural areas that require extensive water management. And both countries have population centers dispersed over large geographic areas with economies that are reliant on extensive transportation networks.
This conference will focus on policies and technologies needed for Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Transportation, and Sustainable Water Resources that meet the “Triple Bottom Line” of improved performance with reduced cost and reduced environmental impact, while effectively developing and supporting desired economic and social structure. In addition, it will address what is sometimes referred to as the fourth pillar of sustainability, which refers to the role of culture in addressing sustainability.