China | Workshop Summary: Toward a Sustainable and Healthy Energy System

Beijing, China - Climate change is tightly connected with energy system transformation, and low carbon transformation of energy is the fundamental way of dealing with climate change.

Since the international climate change talks in Paris in 2015, these two topics have become an important part of the agenda of public policy discussion in every country. However, the way in which we fulfil the energy system transformation is a complicated public decision. On October 20-21, 2016, more than ten experts from China, America, England, India and Thailand in the fields of energy, environment and public health had a two-day discussion about the best way to reach a transformation from fossil fuels to a sustainable and low carbon energy system in Beijing. More than 20 colleagues from the media, research institutes, environmental protection NGOs, and foundations present at the discussion.

Workshop participants (Photo c/o REEI)

The central topic of this workshop was how to use policy impact assessment tools to delineate boundaries for the energy transformation. The tools included Environmental Impact Assessments, Social Impact Assessments, and Health Impact Assessments. The delineation of the energy transformation refers to how these policy impact assessment tools can lead to more forward looking and practical energy transformation decisions. Without the support of the three assessment tools above, the discussions on energy transformation, which concerns every aspect of our lives, cannot properly be analyzed systematically or measured comprehensively. During the two-day conference, the speeches of experts from different fields shows the complexity of the energy transformation, and the necessity of using policy impact assessment tools.