China, U.S. agree transition to green, low-carbon economy essential

15:03, November 17, 2009      

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China and the United States singed a joint statement in Beijing Tuesday after talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, agreeing that "the transition to a green and low-carbon economy is essential."

Both China and the United States believed the clean energy industry will provide vast opportunities for citizens of both countries in the years ahead, said the statement signed during Obama' s first visit to China since taking office in January.

According to the statement, the two sides welcomed significant steps forward to advance policy dialogue and practical cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment, building on the China-U.S. Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment announced at the first round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogues in July and formally signed during Obama' s visit.

The statement said both sides recognized the importance of the Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment Cooperation (TYF) and are committed to strengthening cooperation in promoting clean air, water, transportation, electricity, and resources conservation.

Through a new China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Action Plan under the TYF, both countries "will work together to achieve cost-effective energy efficiency improvement in industry, buildings and consumer products through technical cooperation, demonstration and policy exchanges," said the statement.

Noting both countries' significant investment in energy efficiency, the two Presidents underscored the enormous opportunities to create jobs and enhance economic growth brought by energy savings.

The two countries welcomed the signing of the Protocol Between the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Energy Administration of the People's Republic of China and the Department of Energy of the United States of America on a Clean Energy Research Center, according to the document.

The Center will facilitate joint research and development on clean energy by scientists and engineers from both countries. It will have one headquarters in each country, with public and private funding of at least 150 million U.S. dollars over five years split evenly between the two countries. Priority topics to be addressed will include energy efficiency in buildings, clean coal (including carbon capture and sequestration), and clean vehicles.

The two sides welcomed the launch of China-U.S. Electric Vehicles Initiative designed to put millions of electric vehicles on the roads of both countries in the years ahead, the statement said.

Building on significant investments in electric vehicles in both the United States and China, the two governments announced a program of joint demonstration projects in more than a dozen cities, along with work to develop common technical standards to facilitate rapid scale-up of the industry, the statement said, adding that the two sides agreed that their countries share a strong common interest in the rapid deployment of clean vehicles.

About 21st century coal technologies, the two countries agreed to promote cooperation on large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstrations projects and begin work immediately on the development, deployment, diffusion and transfer of CCS technology. The two sides welcomed recent agreements between Chinese and U.S. companies, universities and research institutions to cooperate on CCS and more efficient coal technologies.

With regard to joint efforts on tackling the climate change, the two sides welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Environmental Protection Agency of the United States to Build Capacity to Address Climate Change.

The statement said the two sides welcomed the launch of a China-U.S. Renewable Energy Partnership, through which the two countries will chart a pathway to wide-scale deployment of wind, solar, advanced bio-fuels and a modern electric power grid in both countries and cooperate in designing and implementing the policy and technical tools necessary to make that vision possible.

Shared confidence on the bilateral cooperation in this field was expressed by the statement, which said that given the combined market size of the two countries, accelerated deployment of renewable energy in China and the United States can significantly reduce the cost of these technologies globally.

On the promotion of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the two sides agreed to consult with one another in order to explore such approaches--including assurance of fuel supply and cradle-to-grave nuclear fuel management so that countries can access peaceful nuclear power while minimizing the risks of proliferation.

Source:Xinhua
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