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The United States and China: Addressing Energy Security, Climate Change, and Environmental Stewardship Together

May 23, 2007

The U.S. leads the global effort in promoting clean development and enhanced energy security. Since June 2001, the U.S. has launched 15 bilateral and regional partnerships with 20 nations and the European Union on issues ranging from climate change science to energy and sequestration technologies.

The U.S. recognizes that any effective strategy must engage emerging economies like China. At the second meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, the U.S. and China agreed that action is necessary to increase global energy security and address the challenges of climate change. The U.S. and China will work to align our strategies to:

  1. Improve the energy efficiency of our economies,
  2. Diversify our energy supply,
  3. Advance clean energy technology, and
  4. Protect and conserve our natural resources

The Importance of Working Together The U.S. and China represent 25% of the world's population, 35% of the global economy, and 37% of the global energy demand. By aligning our policies and working together we can achieve our goals of increasing energy security, reducing greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, and continuing to protect and conserve our natural resources. Our common goals include;

Advancing Clean Energy Technology, Encouraging International Partnerships, and Promoting Energy Efficiency

  • Reduce and Eliminate Trade Barriers By working together, as part of the WTO Doha negotiations, to open markets and reduce and, as appropriate, eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services, the United States and China can increase access, and reduce the costs, of these important environmental technologies and services.

  • Develop up to 15 large-scale Coal-Mine Methane (CMM) capture and utilization projects in China in five years. Methane is roughly 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Capturing methane creates a commodity that provides clean energy and increases the safety of mining operations.

  • Develop Clean Coal Technologies China uses twice as much coal as the United States to power its growth and economy; that number is expected to grow to four times the United States by 2020. Advancing clean coal technologies will increase efficiency and energy security and reduce China's future carbon footprint and other pollutants. Both countries agreed to provide policy incentives to abolish cost barriers to full commercialization of advanced coal technologies, including carbon capture and storage technologies.

  • Advance development of a national low-sulfur fuels policy in China China suffers from significant air pollution stemming from the transport sector, resulting in hundreds of thousands of premature deaths per year. Deploying low sulfur fuels in combination with new clean vehicle technologies will lead to major improvements in air quality.

  • Reaffirm Commitment to the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate The Asia-Pacific Partnership plays a crucial role in forming public-private partnerships to advance the development and deployment of clean energy technologies and practices.

  • Establish Energy Efficiency Programs in China The program will enhance energy security by improving China's industrial energy efficiency through conducting assessments, utilizing software tools, and providing specific solutions to achieve energy efficiency. Both countries also agreed to endorse energy efficient product certification, such as EnergyStar and China Standard Certification Center.
Continuing to Protect and Preserve our Natural Resources

  • Establish Joint Working Group to Develop a Bilateral Agreement Addressing Illegal Logging and Associated Trade Illegal harvesting and export of timber, wildlife, and other forests products has a negative impact on both the resources and the economies of many countries. As major manufacturers, consumers, and traders in this sector, the U.S. and China can help those countries preserve forests by improving enforcement against this destructive illegal trade.

  • Cooperate to End Overfishing and Protect Our Oceans The United States and China share common interests in improving the health of the world's oceans and in achieving sustainable fisheries. Enhanced cooperation between the United States and China will help to combat problems of illegal fishing and fishing overcapacity, as well as promote efforts to protect the marine environment.