Policy Practicum: Assessing the Impact of China's Global Infrastructure Spending on Climate Change

Past Offerings

Policy Practicum: Assessing the Impact of China's Global Infrastructure Spending on Climate Change (807O): Client: Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. China is investing in massive foreign-infrastructure construction, notably in emerging economies. Whether that infrastructure is high-carbon or low-carbon will largely determine the future of climate change. Many universities and institutions are studying the carbon impacts of China's foreign-infrastructure investment. That research tends to compare China's aggregate fossil-fuel-versus-renewable investments, assessing whether those investments meet a clean-energy ideal. New research at Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance is undertaking this analysis differently. It seeks to map the players and financial flows of global infrastructure investment in a way that compares the carbon intensity of Chinese-financed infrastructure projects in important emerging economies with the carbon intensity of energy infrastructure in those countries that has been financed by multilateral, bilateral, and other non-Chinese entities. This method is designed to reflect the way global infrastructure funding works, politically and economically, in actual practice -- and thus to elucidate particularly realistic ways to meaningfully decarbonize Chinese infrastructure financing. In this policy lab, which is the second phase of the spring 2020 lab, students will advance research toward two sorts of deliverables: a data-analysis and data-visualization tool to map players, financing structures, and carbon emissions from Chinese-financed infrastructure projects in key host countries; and a written account of how Chinese-financed infrastructure is playing out in those countries. The research will involve close interaction with key officials at key infrastructure-financing institutions in China and around the world. Graduate students from across Stanford are invited to apply. Data-analysis skills, energy-finance understanding, and proficiency in Mandarin are useful skills for this work, but they are not required. The lab seeks graduate students from the disciplines of law, business, engineering and environmental science, and East Asian Studies. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline. Cross-listed with International Policy (INTLPOL 371).

Sections

Policy Practicum: Assessing the Impact of China's Global Infrastructure Spending on Climate Change | LAW 807O Section 01 Class #18616

  • 2 3 Units
  • Grading: Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
  • 2020-2021 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO3 - Ability to Conduct Legal Research
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
    • LO5 - Ability to Communicate Orally
    • LO7 - Professional Skills

Notes: Cross-listed with International Policy (INTLPOL 371).

  • 2020-2021 Autumn
    Schedule No Longer Available

Policy Practicum: Assessing the Impact of China's Global Infrastructure Spending on Climate Change (807O): Client: Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. China is engaged in massive energy-infrastructure spending around the world. Whether that spending is high-carbon or low-carbon will do much to determine the future of global climate change. One swathe of that spending is known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. But there's confusion about (1) which Chinese-funded energy-infrastructure projects outside China are part of the BRI and which are not and (2) how Chinese energy-infrastructure spending, both as part of the BRI and beyond it, is affecting the carbon-emissions trajectory in key countries. These are crucial questions as the world crafts policies and financial mechanisms to meaningfully curb carbon emissions. In this policy lab, students will continue research underway at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance into (1) the opacity of definitions of the BRI and (2) how green or brown Chinese-infrastructure investments are, both in the BRI and outside of it. The work will proceed as case studies of four countries. The initial work has begun to point up two important hypotheses: (1) that, because of the fuzziness of definitions of what constitutes the BRI, analyzing Chinese foreign energy-infrastructure investment writ large is more important than analyzing so-called BRI investment specifically, and (2) that the environmental effect of Chinese energy-infrastructure investments abroad depends more on policies in the host countries than on Chinese policies. These conclusions, illustrated with real-world examples in the four case-study countries, have the potential to reframe Western attitudes toward Chinese energy spending in ways that could promote more international cooperation in battling climate change. The lab seeks two to four graduate students. Law students, business students, engineering and environmental-science students, and students with a focus in East Asia will be eligible. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Class Participation, Written Assignments, Final Paper. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.

Sections

Policy Practicum: Assessing the Impact of China's Global Infrastructure Spending on Climate Change | LAW 807O Section 01 Class #35460

  • 2 Units
  • Grading: Law Mand Pass Health Restr credit/Fail
  • 2019-2020 Spring
    Schedule No Longer Available
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent
  • Learning Outcomes Addressed:
    • LO2 - Legal Analysis and Reasoning
    • LO3 - Ability to Conduct Legal Research
    • LO4 - Ability to Communicate Effectively in Writing
    • LO5 - Ability to Communicate Orally
    • LO7 - Professional Skills

  • 2019-2020 Spring
    Schedule No Longer Available
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