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US-China Environment and Sustainability Forum at the University of Michigan (UCESF@UM)

Event Type
School for Environment and Sustainability
Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies
College of Engineering
School of Public Health
Ross School of Business
October 1, 2019 8:00am - October 2, 3:00pm
Forum Hall, Palmer Commons


Developing sustainable societies is a major challenge for the 21st century. The US and China both play particularly important roles since these two countries are the world’s two largest economies, energy-consuming countries, and greenhouse gas emitters.

China has experienced rapid economic growth in the past decades, but also has a reputation for environmental pollution and unsustainable development. In recent years, the Chinese government has made significant efforts to remedy for environmental sustainability. On the other hand, the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is at odds with the direction being taken by China. In any event, there are uncertainties to the environment and sustainability of not only the two countries but also the globe.

The goal of this Forum is to create an opportunity for leading experts from both the U.S. and China to share progresses, challenges, and prospects on environmental sustainability and find common interests to collaborate. One of the outcomes of the Forum is a white paper summarizing opinions and conclusions, which will then be developed into a paper published in a high-profile journal.

Attendance will be capped at 100 participants including invited speakers and reserved seats for University of Michigan participants to promote an intimate experience for easy engagement in conversation.


The Forum will have seven sessions on important topics in environment and sustainability. Each session will feature four speakers invited from both the U.S. and China. Each speaker will speak for 15 minutes, followed by a one-hour discussion facilitated by a facilitator. These topics include:

  • Air Pollution and Quality
  • Circular Economy
  • Climate, Carbon and Energy
  • Ecosystems
  • Environmental Health
  • Sustainable Development and Public Policy
  • Water

All speakers at the Forum will be invited. Poster sessions will be scheduled for other participants to showcase research outcomes.

The Forum will also include a panel discussion on international collaboration on environment and sustainability education.

On October 5, a small group of invited speakers and facilitators will form a working group to synthesize the outcome of the Forum for developing the white paper.