China and the U.S. are the two greatest emitters of carbon, so their environmental and economic policies have the power to either save or destroy the planet. Join us as top climate thinkers—Jeffrey Sachs, an economist who runs Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development, Ma Jun, founder of the Institute of Environmental Policy and Affairs in Beijing, and Alvin Lin, energy expert at the NRDC in Beijing—share insights on what the two nations can do to ensure we get to zero net greenhouse emissions.
Ma Jun is one of China’s best known environmental activists. He founded one of China’s most dynamic environmental NGOs, the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), which is committed to promoting transparency around pollution issues in China. IPE developed the China Water Pollution Map, the first public database of water pollution information in China. Ma also works as an environmental consultant, helping corporations improve their sustainability performance and reduce their environmental footprints. Prior to launching IPE, Ma worked as a journalist with the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English language newspaper, from 1993 to 2000, and then as an environmental consultant with Sinosphere Corporation. Ma wrote China’s Water Crisis, a landmark book published in 1999 that brought the consequences of unfettered development to public attention.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. Sachs has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. Sachs was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.
Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His latest book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).
Alvin Lin is China Climate and Energy Policy Director in the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Beijing office, focusing on analysis and policy advocacy around China’s climate and clean energy policies. His work covers a broad range of issues, including the environmental and health impacts of coal consumption, energy efficiency and renewable energy, the climate negotiations, HFCs, and air pollution policies and laws. He has a B.A. from Yale University, M. Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and J.D. from NYU School of Law. Prior to joining NRDC, he worked as a litigator and judicial clerk in New York.