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China’s size and rapid growth have made it an economic and political powerhouse. But while these advances transformed the country’s economy and lifted more than 500 million people out of poverty, they’ve come with environmental challenges.

China is a leading emitter of greenhouse gases. The country burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined—and has more than 350 new coal plants slated for development. Nearly 38 percent of China’s major lakes and 30 percent of its largest rivers are so polluted they’re unsafe for use.

China’s leaders recognize these problems and have made “ecological progress” a priority. WRI China—established in 2007—works with business, government, and community leaders to shift the country onto a more sustainable development path.

Our research-based solutions and tools allow businesses and governments to measure, manage, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We identify methods to cost-effectively tackle China’s water quantity and quality concerns. We demonstrate models of environment-smart development for China’s growing cities. And we aim to advance safe, sustainable transport systems throughout the country.

Publications & Resources

Taking Culture into Account in Restoring China’s Loess Plateau

The restoration of China's Loess Plateau is unmatched in scale, yet the allure of non-native species to engineer a desired outcome in the landscape is common globally.

With changing climate and increasing populations, we need to restore landscapes to ensure the resilience of ecosystem services in the 21st century recognizing that cultural diversity is as important as biodiversity in restoration decisions.

Energy-gulping Desalination Can’t Solve China’s Water Crisis Alone

In fast-urbanizing China, nearly 90 percent of coastal cities face some degree of water scarcity and roughly 300 million rural residents lack access to clean water.

To quench the country’s chronic thirst, the Chinese government has turned to desalination, aiming to produce as much as 3 million cubic meters of desalinated water daily by 2020, up from today’s 0.77 million cubic meter.

Shouqing Zhu

Senior Associate, Sustainable Finance

Shouqing is a Senior Associate with WRI's Sustainable Finance Program. He leads and coordinates WRI’s work related to promoting sustainability in the financial system in China, which focuses on...

Cornerstone for GHG Accounting: Experience and Recommendations for Corporate Level Data Quality Management in China

Corporate data quality management is a vital component of a reliable GHG accounting system. This report is intended to assist corporate GHG reporters and government authorities in the process of establishing a GHG data quality management system.

There are three phases in developing,...

Haitao Zhang

Director, EMBARQ China

Haitao serves as the Director of EMBARQ China, responsible for research and management, project rendering, fundraising, and development. He initiated the official partnership between WRI/EMBARQ...

Su Song

Research Associate, EMBARQ China

Su is the Research Associate of EMBARQ in WRI China Office. She works on the economics and policy studies of the sustainable transport in China.

Prior joining WRI, she worked as the...

Ying Wang

Research Associate, EMBARQ China

Wendy is a research associate at EMBARQ WRI China office, where she engages with various research projects on sustainable transportation and urban development.

Prior to joining WRI, Wendy...


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