The Week Ahead: Obama, China President to Meet, Climate Change on Agenda; Congress Returns


President Barack Obama and China President Xi Jinping are expected to talk about climate change when they meet next week following the Nov. 10-12 Asia-Pacific Summit in Beijing.

As covered in a Nov. 6 Energy and Climate Report article, China has signaled that the still rapidly developing nation could be ready to set an absolute cap on its emissions growth, with a top Chinese official announcing in September that the nation is prepared to announce “the peaking of total carbon dioxide emissions as early as possible.”

According to the White House, Obama’s Beijing meeting will be followed by a string of other summits in Asia during the week and the G20 leaders summit Nov. 15-16 in Australia.

Congress Returns

Senators will return to the Capitol Nov. 12 for leadership elections and discussions about the lame-duck session and the agenda for 2015.

As detailed in Nov. 5 article, Senate Republican leaders are undertaking efforts to organize and develop their legislative agenda—which includes reigning in actions by the Environmental Protection Agency—after winning back the chamber in the midterm elections. 

In the House –as covered in a Nov. 5 article—visions of the future may take a while to coalesce as in the near term, the top issue will concern budget matters.

Desert Meeting

One of the last of 11 meetings on a draft plan on how to streamline the development of renewable energy projects on 22.5 million acres of California desert will be held Nov. 13 in Sacramento by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Energy Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As covered in an Oct. 7 article, the draft identifies the most appropriate areas for solar, wind and geothermal projects and specifies ecologically and culturally significant areas that should be protected.   

The final will meeting will be held in Joshua Tree Nov. 19.

Other Climate, Energy Events 

On Nov. 13 in Washington, The Hill will host a discussion on “Energy—What’s Next at the Intersection of Policy, Innovation & Business.” 

Speakers include Tom Hassenboehler,  majority chief counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Heather Zichal, former deputy assistant for energy and climate change for President Barack Obama;  Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute; and Kevin Book, head of research for ClearView Energy Partners, LLC.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing Nov. 14 in Washington on “Advancing Resiliency: Competing for Innovative Investments.” 

Speakers include Matthew Dalbey, director for EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities; Harriet Tregoning, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ‘s Office of Economic Resilience;  and Sam Carter, associate director for resilience for the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar Nov. 13 on “Strategies for Controlling Methane from the Oil & Gas Sector.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility will host a webinar Nov. 12 on “The Health Benefits of a Clean Energy Future.” The webinar will feature findings of a study on the health “co-benefits” of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The Security and Sustainability Forum will hold a webinar Nov. 13 on “Assessing Vulnerability of Water Conveyance Infrastructure from a Changing Climate in the Context of a Changing Landscape.”



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