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China’s role in climate change is topic at Center for the Environment

SALISBURY — The Catawba College Center for the Environment will sponsor a program on China’s role in combatting climate change, “Will China Save the Planet?”

The program will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Room 300 at the center.

Barbara Finamore, senior strategic director for Asia for the Natural Resources Defense Council, will be the speaker.

Finamore has nearly four decades of experience in environmental law and energy policy. In 1996, she founded the council’s China Program, the first clean-energy program launched by an international nonprofit organization. She was also president and chairwoman of the Professional Association for China’s Environment and is co-founder and president of the China-U.S. Energy Innovation Alliance.

In 2017, she was named a member of Foreign Policy’s “U.S.-China 50,” a group of 50 people who are powering the complex relationship.

She holds a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. She recently wrote a book on China and climate change, “Will China Save the Planet?”

In the book, she questions whether China will take the lead in saving the planet from environmental catastrophe, now that the United States is stepping back from the issue. She outlines the fundamental economic and political challenges that China faces in addressing a domestic environmental crisis that threatens to derail its low-carbon energy transition.

China’s leaders understand that transforming the world’s second-largest economy from one dependent on highly polluting heavy industry to one focused on clean energy, services and innovation is essential, not only to the future of the planet, but to China’s own prosperity, which is what leaves room for hope, according to a statement by Charlotte Steiner of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s China Program.

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