JHCGA's vision is that the tipping point to global climate action is through the transformation of global coal-producing regions, specifically in the U.S. and China.
The U.S. and China are the globe’s two largest economies, two largest carbon emitters and two largest energy consumers. There will be no significant climate action without leadership from both nations, particularly as it relates to coal use, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.
Now, with the recent Biden-Xi Summit and the Sunnylands Statement, there is a new start for the U.S. and China to jointly act on climate.
Since our founding in 2002, JHCGA has worked closely with policymakers, business leaders, technical experts, and civil society from the U.S. and China's largest coal producing regions - notably Wyoming and Shanxi. Wyoming is the U.S.'s largest producer of coal - in the past nearly 400 millions tons annually. Shanxi is China's largest coal producer - around 1 billion tons. Together, the two regions produce nearly 15% of the globe's coal. Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, contributing to global climate change. Carbon emissions drive global climate change, impacting all of humanity.
The International Energy Agency projects that, though global coal use could peak this decade, coal will play a significant role in providing energy to global economies for decades to come. Coal is cheap and provides dependable power. Future projections show that Asian economies will urbanize largely by depending on coal. Unlike aging coal-fired power plants in the United States, in China, the majority of coal plants are less than 10 years old and are unlikely to retired soon.
At the same time, coal communities like Wyoming and Shanxi that have traditionally depended on coal face an uncertain economic future. With the advent of cheap natural gas and increasing demand for renewable energy, coal production and consumption has been on the decline in the U.S. These communities have lost or are losing economic opportunity by way of jobs and tax revenue. To aggravate this challenge further, coal communities have economies that are largely undiversified. Many of these challenges are true in Shanxi as well.
These are the global, macro, economic and environmental challenges that we grapple with. How can coal communities in the U.S. and China achieve economic diversification while also reducing their global carbon emissions role? To respond to these important questions, since our founding, we have played a lead role in convening hundreds of public and private sector leaders from Wyoming, Shanxi, and elsewhere around the world in joint collaborative leadership efforts. Through meetings, site visits, partnerships, and Memoranda of Understanding organized as part of this project, JHCGA has pushed the agenda on a range of energy issues impacting Wyoming, Shanxi, the U.S., and China, and by extension all impacted by global climate change.
Coal Regions and the Energy Transition
Track 2 Dialogues
Network that facilitates new policy ideas and outcomes in subnational climate action between the U.S. and China through the transformation of coal-producing regions.
Aims to create a durable bridge/network between U.S.-China coal regions that strengthens policymaking and joint climate action
Wyoming - Shanxi Clean Energy Initiative
Since 2003, JHCGA has brokered a partnership between leaders in Wyoming and Shanxi - the U.S. and China's largest coal-producing regions - in clean energy policy approaches.
With joint resolutions to hasten deployment of new energy and sustainable development goals - for example the Jincheng Declaration