James K. Hammitt, Fangli Geng, Xiaoqi Guo, and Chris P. Nielsen. 2019. “Valuing Mortality Risk in China: Comparing Stated-Preference Estimates from 2005 and 2016.” Journal of Risk & Uncertainty, 58, 2-3, Pp. 167–186. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We estimate the marginal rate of substitution of income for reduction in current annual mortality risk (the “value per statistical life” or VSL) using stated-preference surveys administered to independent samples of the general population of Chengdu, China in 2005 and 2016. We evaluate the quality of estimates by the theoretical criteria that willingness to pay (WTP) for risk reduction should be strictly positive and nearly proportional to the magnitude of the risk reduction (evaluated by comparing answers between respondents) and test the effect of excluding respondents whose answers violate these criteria. For subsamples of respondents that satisfy the criteria, point estimates of the sensitivity of WTP to risk reduction are consistent with theory and yield estimates of VSL that are two to three times larger than estimated using the full samples. Between 2005 and 2016, estimated VSL increased sharply, from about 22,000 USD in 2005 to 550,000 USD in 2016. Income also increased substantially over this period. Attributing the change in VSL solely to the change in real income implies an income elasticity of about 3.0. Our results suggest that estimates of VSL from stated-preference studies in which WTP is not close to proportionate to the stated risk reduction may be biased downward by a factor of two or more, and that VSL is likely to grow rapidly in a population with strong economic growth, which implies that environmental-health, safety, and other policies should become increasingly protective.
2019 Jun 01

CCICED Annual Meeting

Sat Jun 1 (All day) to Wed Jun 5 (All day)


Hangzhou International Expo Center, Zhejiang Province, China
China Project faculty chair, Michael McElroy, who has been appointed to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) for a 5-year term, and Executive Director, Chris Nielsen, will be participating in the ... Read more about CCICED Annual Meeting
2018 Dec 06

Health Benefit of On-Road Vehicular Emissions Control Program in China

3:30pm to 4:45pm


Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

Speaker: WANG Haikun

WANG Haikun, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Nanjing University; Visiting Scholar Alumnus and Collaborator, Harvard-China Project

Abstract: Coming soon!

Sponsored by China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Meng Gao, Gufran Beig, Shaojie Song, Hongliang Zhang, Jianlin Hu, Qi Ying, Fengchao Liang, Yang Liu, Haikun Wang, Xiao Lu, Tong Zhu, Gregory Carmichael, Chris P. Nielsen, and Michael B. McElroy. 2018. “The Impact of Power Generation Emissions on Ambient PM2.5 Pollution and Human Health in China and India.” Environment International, 121, Part 1, Pp. 250-259. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Emissions from power plants in China and India contain a myriad of fine particulate matter (PM2.5, PM≤2.5 micrometers in diameter) precursors, posing significant health risks among large, densely settled populations. Studies isolating the contributions of various source classes and geographic regions are limited in China and India, but such information could be helpful for policy makers attempting to identify efficient mitigation strategies. We quantified the impact of power generation emissions on annual mean PM2.5 concentrations using the state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry model WRF-Chem (Weather Research Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry) in China and India. Evaluations using nationwide surface measurements show the model performs reasonably well. We calculated province-specific annual changes in mortality and life expectancy due to power generation emissions generated PM2.5 using the Integrated Exposure Response (IER) model, recently updated IER parameters from Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2015, population data, and the World Health Organization (WHO) life tables for China and India. We estimate that 15 million (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 10 to 21 million) years of life lost can be avoided in China each year and 11 million (95% CI: 7 to 15 million) in India by eliminating power generation emissions. Priorities in upgrading existing power generating technologies should be given to Shandong, Henan, and Sichuan provinces in China, and Uttar Pradesh state in India due to their dominant contributions to the current health risks.




May 22, 2018

2018年春季学期,哈佛大学中国项目继续推进由哈佛环球学院资助的“中国2030/2050计划”,探究了一批迫在眉睫的课题,包括在《自然·Ÿ能源》期刊上发表了关于电动车充电方式对中国环境有何影响的论文。这项研究由来自哈佛大学和清华大学的科学家们共同合作完成,论文联合作者包括哈佛大学中国项目主席Michael B. McElroy教授、项目执行总监Chris P. Nielsen先生、环境科学于工程研究员陈新宇博士,以及张宏才博士、徐志伟和吕佳君。

哈佛大学中国项目也在《自然Ÿ·科学报告》期刊发表了另一篇论文,提出气候变化可能是导致中国风能潜力下降的因素之一。中国项目特此采访了该文联合作者之一博士研究生Peter Sherman,...

Read more about 2018年春季学期新闻通讯
liu zhenya headshot


April 17, 2018

2018年4月17日,中国国家电网公司(SGCC)前董事长、现全球能源互联网发展合作组织(GEIDCO)主席刘振亚先生在哈佛大学法学院发表题为“能源创新之道:从特高压电网到全球能源互联网”的公开演讲。演讲探讨了建立全球智能电网的需求与潜力,通过全球能源互联网,用可再生资源生产的能源能够以更低的成本进入千家万户。本次活动由哈佛大学中国能源、经济与环境项目,哈佛法学院东亚法律研究项目,哈佛John A. Paulson工程与应用科学学院,以及哈佛环球学院联合举办。点击此处阅读有关报道。

Read more about 中国国家电网公司前董事长刘振亚就全球能源互联网在哈佛大学发表公开演讲
2018 Feb 12

Q&A Session: China's Environmental Challenges 2018: Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships in China

5:00pm to 6:00pm


Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Interested in researching in China this summer? Join Harvard-China Project staff and a participating Tsinghua University professor to learn more about our research assistantships opportunity.

The Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment will provide generous financial support for six Harvard undergraduates to spend the summer in China conducting research on China’s energy and environmental future under the guidance of an English-speaking professor at a leading university, from June 15 to August 16, 2018...

Read more about Q&A Session: China's Environmental Challenges 2018: Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships in China
2017 Nov 28

Film Screening of "Plastic China" and Q&A with Director WANG Jiuliang

6:30pm to 8:45pm


CGIS South, Tsai Auditorium, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

plastic china partial poster

After the screening, Director WANG Jiuliang will attend via Skype for a Q&A with the audience moderated by Professor ZHANG Ling of Boston College and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. The discussion will be interpreted by Canaan Morse, a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese Literature at Harvard. 

Boston-area premiere co-sponsored by the Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Environment in Asia Series, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies; and Emergent Visions Film Screening Series, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

Free admission to the film screening is made possible through the generous support of the Harvard Global Institute.... Read more about Film Screening of "Plastic China" and Q&A with Director WANG Jiuliang

MEP meeting


August 30, 2017

2017年8月4日,中国气候变化事务特别代表解振华主任在其北京的办公室举行了研究和政策咨询会,会晤哈佛大学中国项目的Mike McElroy和Steve Wofsy教授、项目执行总监Chris Nielsen、前哈佛大学中国项目学者张红军博士(霍兰德奈特律师事务所),以及鲁玺教授(清华大学)。议题包括:中美处理气候问题的现状以及地区政府在气候问题治理中日益重要的作用;中国不同地区碳排放控制能力的差异;碳市场与碳税收政策各自的优势和混合碳定价政策的前景;以及尝试用地球工程来解决气候问题所带来的高风险。... Read more about 同解振华特别代表和李干杰部长进行高层次会晤

Haikun Wang, Yanxu Zhang, Xi Lu, Weimo Zhu, Chris P. Nielsen, Jun Bi, and Michael B. McElroy. 2017. “Trade‐driven relocation of air pollution and health impacts in China.” Nature Communications, 8, 738. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Recent studies show that international trade affects global distributions of air pollution andpublic health. Domestic interprovincial trade has similar effects within countries, but has notbeen comprehensively investigated previously. Here we link four models to evaluate theeffects of both international exports and interprovincial trade on PM2.5pollution and publichealth across China. We show that 50–60% of China’s air pollutant emissions in 2007 wereassociated with goods and services consumed outside of the provinces where they wereproduced. Of an estimated 1.10 million premature deaths caused by PM2.5pollutionthroughout China, nearly 19% (208,500 deaths) are attributable to international exports. Incontrast, interprovincial trade leads to improved air quality in developed coastal provinceswith a net effect of 78,500 avoided deaths nationwide. However, both international exportand interprovincial trade exacerbate the health burdens of air pollution in China’s lessdeveloped interior provinces. Our results reveal trade to be a critical but largely overlookedconsideration in effective regional air quality planning for China.
Nan Zhong, Jing Cao, and Yuzhu Wang. 2017. “Traffic congestion, ambient air pollution and health: Evidence from driving restrictions in Beijing.” Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 4, 3, Pp. 821–856. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Vehicles have recently overtaken coal to become the largest source of air pollution in urban China. Research on mobile sources of pollution has foundered due both to inaccessibility of Chinese data on health outcomes and strong identifying assumptions. To address these, we collect daily ambulance call data from the Beijing Emergency Medical Center and combine them with an idiosyncratic feature of a driving restriction policy in Beijing that references the last digit of vehicles’ license plate numbers. Because the number 4 is considered unlucky by many in China, it tends to be avoided on license plates. As a result, days on which the policy restricts license plates ending in 4 unintentionally allow more vehicles in Beijing. Leveraging this variation, we find that traffic congestion is indeed 22% higher on days banning 4 and that 24-hour average concentration of NO2 is 12% higher. Correspondingly, these short term increases in pollution increase ambulance calls by 12% and 3% for fever and heart related symptoms, while no effects are found for injuries. These findings suggest that traffic congestion has substantial health externalities in China but that they are also responsive to policy.