US-China Environment and Sustainability Forum at the University of Michigan


October 1-2, 2019

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Background and Objectives

The world today is facing unprecedented, interconnected environmental and sustainability challenges. Achieving sustainable development requires global efforts that are ambitious, action-oriented and collaborative.

The US and China are the leaders of the global economy. At the same time, they also contribute significantly to many sustainability challenges worldwide. Both countries play particularly important roles for global sustainability.

By bring together experts from both the US and China on environment and sustainability, the US-China Environment and Sustainability Forum at the University of Michigan (UCESF@UM) aims to:

  • Take stock of achievements in addressing environmental and sustainability challenges in both countries, and
  • Identify critical areas that the two countries should work together and help the global transition towards more sustainable development.

UCESF@UM will produce a whitepaper summarizing opinions and conclusions.

To promote an intimate experience for easy engagement in conversation, attendance is capped at 120 participants including invited panelists and reserved seats for University of Michigan participants.


UCESF@UM will be single-track, meaning there will be only one session at a time without parallel sessions. The Forum will consists of 7 panels on specific topics in environment and sustainability. Each panel features 4 invited panelists from both the US and China. At each panel, speakers will speak for 15 minutes each, then followed by a 45-minute discussion facilitated by a moderator and invited commenters.

Topics of the panels include:

  • Air Pollution and Quality
  • Climate, Carbon and Energy
  • Environmental Health
  • Natural Resources
  • Sustainable Development and Public Policy
  • Water Systems
  • International Collaboration on Environment and Sustainability Education

In additional to participate in panel discussions, participants can choose to present their research at poster sessions.

Immediately after the Forum, a small group of participants will form a working group to synthesize the outcome of the Forum for the whitepaper.

Conference Organization


Glen Daigger

Professor; Member of National Academy of Engineering

University of Michigan

Jiuhui Qu

Professor; Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering; Foreign Member of National Academy of Engineering

Tsinghua University and Chinese Academy of Sciences

Organizing Committee

Ming Xu (Chair)

Associate Professor and Director of China Programs, School for Environment and Sustainability

University of Michigan

Chuanwu Xi (Co-Chair)

Professor, School of Public Health

University of Michigan

Mary Gallagher

Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor in Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights; Director of Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies

University of Michigan

Jonathan T. Overpeck

Samuel A. Graham Dean of School for Environment and Sustainability; William B. Stapp Collegiate Professor of Environmental Education

University of Michigan

Xun "Brian" Wu

Associate Professor, Ross School of Business

University of Michigan



A top-ranked public university, the University of Michigan has a tradition of excellence in research, learning and teaching, sports and the arts, and more.

The Pierpont Commons (2101 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2090) is a Conference and Community Center located on the University of Michigan North Campus. Pierpont hosts a wide range of services nestled between inviting lounges to relax and entertain. A wide range of services can be found there including a U-M Credit Union, ATMs, a bookstore, a convenience store, and a variety of food choices. With its unique location, Pierpont is a great way to escape the bustle of Central Campus and downtown Ann Arbor. It is not uncommon to spot wildlife among the North Campus neighborhood! Through its staff, events, and partnerships, Pierpont Commons creates an environment where people can learn and unwind in an area far from home.

Travel and Accommodation

University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor which is 30-40 minutes away by car from the Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). The DTW airport is a regional hub of Delta Air Lines and is conveniently connected to major cities around the world with direct flights including Beijing and Shanghai.

Below is a list of hotels close to the Forum venue:

Since October 5, 2019 will be a home game for University of Michigan football team, as well as the homecoming weekend, hotels in Ann Arbor are filled quickly. If you are interested in attending the Forum, we strongly suggest you to book your stay as soon as possible.

If you are interested in going to the October 5 football game against University of Iowa, please visit the University of Michigan Athletics website to buy tickets:

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