Sustainability Science Program

Zhu Liu

Zhu Liu

Zhu LiuDr. Zhu Liu
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 503 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-384-5737
Personal website:
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Zhu Liu is a joint Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and the Energy Technology Innovation Policy project, a joint project of the Science Technology and Public Policy Program and the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research focuses on global sustainability accounting and low carbon energy transition. Zhu is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Sustainable Energy Development in China led by Professor Henry Lee. He conducted his Doctoral study in Ecology at the Institute of Applied Ecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and graduated with CAS highest honor (CAS Presidential Special Award). Zhu received his Ph.D. from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013). Zhu was a visiting student at the University of Cambridge (2012). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Northwest University (2007) and a Master’s degree in Ecology from China Agricultural University (2009). His research on energy and climate has been published in Nature, Nature Climate Change, PNAS, and other professional journals. His faculty hosts are Henry Lee and Laura Diaz Anadon.

A low-carbon pathway for China’s sustainable development
This project aims to reveal the environmental impacts of China's energy use and link these impacts with social-economic activities to further achieve the co-benefits of low-carbon policy and strategies.

This study explores options for a low-carbon pathway for China’s sustainable development. Based on state of the art models, the research develops bottom-up energy, water, and emission (including carbon emission and air pollution) inventories, aiming to uncover social and economic driving forces of China’s energy and emission growth. The research will further assesses the energy saving and emission mitigation potential of key technologies on the basis of an input-output life-cycle analysis model. Social and economic driving forces of energy/emission/water/carbon variations are identified by using a structural decomposition model, revealing co-benefits for energy saving and emissions mitigation. Low carbon scenarios based on factors of energy use and emission baseline, energy-water-carbon nexus, technology development, efficiency improvement as well as social and economic drivers will be presented.

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