The June 1 event was held at the Yale Center Beijing

On June 1, 2024 the Yale Center Beijing hosted a panel discussion on international environmental efforts titled ‘Cooperating for Climate: The View from China.’ The event was co-sponsored by the Yale Jackson School’s International Leadership Center (ILC) and Peking University’s Institute of Carbon Neutrality and featured insightful discussions on the transition to net-zero, the power of U.S.-China cooperation, and the importance of grassroots initiatives.

Emma Sky, founding director of the ILC, opened the event with a call for global cooperation to tackle the complex challenges of climate change.

“Climate change is such a complex issue, bundled up with so many dilemmas and trade-offs, that it can feel like a daunting challenge,” said Sky in her opening remarks. “Can we prosper without doing irreparable damage to our planet?”

Yes, Sky suggested, but only if we set aside our differences and work together for the sake of humanity. 

“The transition to net-zero will require technological genius, radically unorthodox policy ideas, and creative solutions for financing the overhaul of entire systems,” Sky said. “And when the U.S. and China cooperate on climate, the global agenda advances.”

The ensuing panel discussion participants included three Chinese fellows from the ILC’s global network: Jun Ma (a 2004 Yale World Fellow), Binbin Wang (a 2023 Yale World Fellow), and Zhouwei Diao (a 2024 Yale Climate Fellow).

Panelists shared personal stories and emphasized the need for transparency, public participation, and multi-stakeholder collaborations to advance environmental goals during their discussion, which was moderated by the ILC’s Yuval Ben-David.

Despite geopolitical tensions, the panelists remained optimistic about U.S.-China relations, underscoring the necessity of international cooperation for climate action. The event date, which coincided with the celebration in China of International Children’s Day, delivered a hopeful message for future generations. In her remarks, Sky stated, “Through cooperation and compromise—rather than competition and conflict—we can achieve better outcomes for all.”