EF China News

Celebrating 20 Years in China

Energy Foundation China proudly celebrated our 20 years of operating in China through a series of events and festivities in Beijing in November 2019. With an overall theme of “sustainable energy, prosperous future,” we hosted a number of forums and dialogues to celebrate the progress our community has made, while also keeping an eye on the challenges of the future.


CEO & President of Energy Foundation China, Zou Ji

We opened with a VIP Forum including keynote speeches from China’s former Climate Envoy Minister Xie Zhenhua, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Zhao Yingmin, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, London School of Economics and Political Science Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, and Vice Secretary General of the National Development and Reform Commission Su Wei. The speakers remarked on the speed of China’s environmental gains while acknowledging the challenges we still face and re-committing to the work ahead.


VIP guests at EF China’s 20th Anniversary celebration

The session sent a strong signal of the value of China-U.S. engagement, with the release of a Declaration on U.S.-China Cooperation in Climate Change and Clean Energy, and through a series of bilateral “lighting dialogues” with top leaders in our field discussing the global context for climate action, the role of innovation, how to leverage air quality to address climate change, and the role of philanthropy.


Packard Foundation Trustee Susan Packard Orr, Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, and Global Climate Change and Green Development Fund Secretary General Li Haiyan discuss the role of philanthropy in supporting China’s decarbonization.

Following the VIP Forum, we convened a series of deep-dive workshops to explore China’s energy revolution in fields such as sustainable urbanization and mobility, industry deep decarbonization, the energy transition in the long-term, and the driving linkages of air quality, climate change, and human health. Experts discussed decarbonization solutions that maximize ambition—including pathways to carbon neutrality—against the backdrop of China’s changing demographic and socioeconomic conditions.

In parallel, we convened partners and friends in dialogue to promote communication and collaboration between international and domestic climate philanthropies, highlighting the urgency to attract more philanthropic attention and resources into the climate and clean energy field. Throughout the week, we also deepened EF China’s partnerships with local governments by signing MOUs with Shenzhen, Qingdao, and Beijing. On the final morning, EF China’s largest donors and board members met with Beijing Mayor Chen Jining, who recognized our contributions and welcomed our ongoing collaboration.


Packard Foundation Trustee Emeritus and Former President Cole Wilbur chats with Beijing Mayor Chen Jining.

Throughout all the events, EF China’s founders and early pioneering champions honored the extensive network of partners and the exceptional spirit of collaboration of our community. And, of course, we also had a big party to celebrate the partnerships, visionary spirit, and tenacious dedication of our community.


MacArthur Foundation President John Palfrey joins EF China staff to sing a song at the 20th Anniversary dinner.

For two decades, EF China has had the privilege of supporting China’s top think tanks, research institutes, universities, industry associations, and fast-developing civil society organizations to promote sustainable energy. Through the end of 2018, EF China funded more than 2,700 projects, operated by over 750 grantees in China, with grants exceeding a total of $300 million. Building on this long history, our eyes are firmly set on the future.

We very much look forward to working with all of our partners as EF China embarks on the coming decades of helping achieve prosperity and a safe climate through sustainable energy.

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