Magazine Article - China Dialogue

Obama’s Former Science Chief Looks to China for Climate Leadership

  • Feng Hao
| Sep. 20, 2019

As the United States boycotts the New York climate summit, John Holdren explains why a change in leadership is needed to restore U.S.-China climate cooperation.

To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement, the UN secretary general António Guterres is hosting a "climate action" summit in New York on 23 September. It will bring together government, the private sector and civil society to develop ambitious solutions to meet the climate challenge. As the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, the US and China's actions at home and abroad, and their participation in multilateral mechanisms, are crucial.

John Holdren is a professor of environmental policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, professor of environmental science and policy in Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and former science adviser to President Barack Obama. He devoted a good part of his career to energy and climate change research and played a major role in shaping the Obama administration's climate change policy. Obama called him "one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change".

In an exclusive interview with China Dialogue during a recent visit to Tsinghua University in Beijing, Dr Holdren talked about the current setback between the US and China in climate cooperation and what still can be done to address the global challenge....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Hao, Feng. “Obama’s Former Science Chief Looks to China for Climate Leadership.” China Dialogue, September 20, 2019.

The Author


John P. Holdren