Xuehua devotes her education, professional career, and research interests to understand and solve environmental problems. Her research interests include environmental policymaking and implementation, energy policy and enforcement, and rule of law in China. Her doctoral dissertation examined the role of courts and citizens in local environmental enforcement and compliance in China. Her field research involved collecting and reviewing court case files and in-depth interviews with judges, lawyers, environmental officials, polluting sources, and individual citizens. Chapters of her dissertation has been published in several leading academic journals. Xuehua is currently in a research-based faculty position with Sichuan University. She is a professor of environmental and climate policy with the University’s Institute of New Energy and Low Carbon Technology.
Xuehua has contributed to the international policy community and its understanding about the actual functions and operations of China’s environmental regulatory system, mostly through providing consulting services to governments and international organizations such as US EPA, NRDC, Energy Foundation, and World Bank. For example, in 2004, Xuehua conducted policy analysis on China’s environmental enforcement and compliance capacity building for the Energy Foundation and contributed to national-level policy development by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. Her analysis provided a basis for the formulation of a new environmental management program at the Energy Foundation. In the same year, she was invited by the Foundation to investigate the implementation of China’s Energy Conservation Law in Shanghai. The results have provided useful information for establishing an effective energy conservation supervision system at the provincial level.
In recent years, Xuehua has been investigating the implementation of the energy-saving and emission-reduction targets during the 11th Five-Year plan in China, measurement, reporting, and verification issues related to the preparation of greenhouse gas emission inventories at the national and provincial levels in China, and operation and management of continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS). She is also very interested in exploring the impacts of the Chinese cadre evaluation system, which holds individual officials accountable for meeting the national energy-saving and emission-reduction targets, on the quality of energy and emission statistical data.
Before coming to IPER, Xuehua worked for Resources for the Future, an environmental think-tank based in Washington. In that capacity, she managed a technical assistance project funded by the Asian Development Bank involving the design of an SO2 cap-and-trade program in Taiyuan City of China. One of her major tasks was to facilitate communication between international and domestic experts and to create collaboration among government officials, researchers, business leaders, and citizens.
Xuehua received her Master’s degree in environmental policy and resource management from Western Washington University and her Bachelor’s degree in engineering (environmental monitoring) at Sichuan University. Before coming to the United States, she worked for her city, Chengdu municipal EPB, as an environmental engineer and helped build the “Living Water Garden”, which is located in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China. This 5.9-acre public park was the first inner city ecological park in the world with water as its theme. Xuehua was the assistant for the principal designer of the park, Ms Betsy Damon, a well-known environmental artist and founder of Keepers of the Waters. This international award-winning park is a fully functioning water treatment plant, a giant sculpture in the shape of a fish (symbol of regeneration in Chinese culture), a living environmental education center, a refuge for wildlife and plants, and a wonderful place for 10 million people in the city.