U.S.-China Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Tools Training Workshop in Beijing

June 16th 2016

During the afternoon of June 6, 2016, one day ahead of the U.S.-China Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit, the Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Initiative Secretariat Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI), organized a Cities Tools Training Workshop in Beijing with support from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Energy, and Energy Foundation China.

Vance Wagner (China Counsellor, Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State), Arlene Fetizanan (Senior Advisor, Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy International Program, U.S. Department of Energy), and Lynn Price (Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) gave opening remarks, connecting the objectives to the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) and U.S. DOE’s past support of sustainable cities activities. Hu Xiulian of ERI moderated the workshop. Over 50 people participated the workshop, including representatives from DOE’s Beijing Office, local government representatives from provinces and cities, including the province of Shandong and the following Chinese cities: Beijing, Changzhou, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Weifang, Wuhan, and Zhenjiang. Other attendees included researchers from LBNL, China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), universities, and non-profit organizations, such as the Institute for Sustainable Cities (ISC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Energy Foundation China, Innovative Green Development Program (iGDP), Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, Tsinghua University, Ningxia University, China Agricultural University, and Tianjin University.

After the opening remarks, Megan Yu of ISC gave a presentation on their cities program in China. Next, Nan Zhou (Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Jingjing Zhang (Post Doc, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), introduced LBNL’s Green Resources & Energy Analysis Tool (GREAT) for Cities and Benchmarking and Energy Saving Tool for Cities (BEST-Cities) and provided training on the use of these tools, with example exercises going through the actual tools. The participants from Shandong, Guangzhou, and Qingdao then shared their low carbon development experiences, including their application of the GREAT and BEST-Cities tools to support their low-carbon development policy design and early peaking efforts. Participants provided feedback on potential categories or inputs to consider incorporating into tools. There was also discussion on how other stakeholders like the business community may have an interest in energy analysis because it can affect their industry.  

Beijing, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, and Wuhan have set carbon emissions targets, developed carbon emissions inventories, and have action plans. Based on the workshop survey, participants were very interested in the tools LBNL developed and think that cities face challenges related to getting accurate energy data, and understanding and applying scientific methodologies and models for low carbon development. They hope to get assistance especially in tools use and policy design. A few participants also think that there is a lack of financial and technical staff capacity to conduct low carbon development work in cities.

LBNL’s GREAT and BEST-Cities tools provide cities with the flexibility of entering their data and building the structure based on their own conditions but with rigorous scientific methodology supporting the analysis, which can help cities conduct CO2 emissions peaking scenario analyses and select policies to achieve their low carbon targets. LBNL has trained more than 400 researchers, city mayors, policymakers, and practitioners to use LBNL’s GREAT, BEST-Cities, and other tools over the past 6 years in more than 20 cities in China. For more information, please visit China.lbl.gov.

Vance Wagner, China Counsellor, Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State gave opening remarks.


Nan Zhou, Staff Scientist and Deputy Group Leader of the China Energy Group at LBNL gave a presentation on the GREAT and BEST-Cities tools developed by the China Energy Group.

Director Zhou Yong from the Shandong Academy of Science shared Shandong's experience using the China Energy Group's GREAT and BEST-Cities tools.