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Testimony by Sarah Forbes Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, January 26, 2012

“China’s Prospects for Shale Gas and Implications for the U.S.”

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the deliberations of this Commission. My name is Sarah Forbes, and I am a Senior Associate for the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute. I am also manager of the World Resources Institute’s Shale Gas Initiative. The World Resources Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan environmental think tank that goes beyond research to provide practical solutions to the world’s most urgent environmental and development challenges. We work in partnership with scientists, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations in more than seventy countries to provide information, tools, and analysis to provide for human well-being.

China's Energy Policy Focuses on Controlling Demand

When I recently testified at the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, a phrase that came up in regard to China’s energy policy was that China is pursuing “an all-of-the-above strategy,” in other words generating supply from as many sources as possible. (full hearing details) There is nothing terribly remarkable about the idea that China is pursuing diversified supply. However, the implication of the discussion was that China’s approach is focused on the supply side, and that seems backwards.

Five Year Plan Update: China Announces Total Energy Target

In a move that exceeded expectations, China’s former Minister in charge of the National Energy Administration, Zhang Guobao, announced yesterday that for the 12th Five Year Plan China would cap total energy use at 4 billion tons coal equivalent (TCE) by 2015. There had been rumors that China would adopt a total coal cap in the 12th Five Year Plan, but Zhang’s announcement goes beyond just coal to include all energy sources.

What to Look for in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan?

China’s annual political meetings begin on Thursday March 3 and the major outcome will be the announcement of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Votes at both the advisory China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, opening March 3) and the National People’s Congress (NPC, opening March 5) are not in question. But the content of the Five-Year Plan, as well as various government work reports and major pieces of legislation, are only revealed during the meetings.

Official Statements on the Hu-Obama Summit

China and the U.S. issued a joint statement Wednesday, January 19, covering the range of issues discussed during President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington this week. The White House also posted a fact sheet summarizing Hu and Obama’s agreement to enhance cooperation on climate change, clean energy, and the environment. The Department of Energy provides further detail on these Clean Energy Cooperation Announcements.

US-China Clean Energy Cooperation and CCS

On January 18, at a ceremony at the US-China Strategic Forum on Clean Energy Cooperation in Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and China’s Energy Minister Zhang Guogao and Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang signed an agreement to advance the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).

Department of Energy Report: U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation

On January 18, 2011, the Department of Energy released a report detailing the substantial progress made to date on a number of clean energy initiatives between China and the United States.

To download the report, click here

ChinaFAQs: Resources for the Hu-Obama Summit

China and the U.S. at the Summit

Ask the ChinaFAQs Experts: “What Outcomes Do You Hope to See From the Hu Jintao-Obama Summit?”

As Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Obama prepare to meet in Washington next week, economic and security issues have been receiving the most attention in recent press. However, the visit also presents an opportunity to discuss climate and energy issues, which have long represented areas for cooperation between the two nations, even amid tensions over other issues. We asked several experts from the ChinaFAQs network to provide their views on what they would like to see result from this summit.

Top Ten Coal Consumers, 2009