United States-China Cooperation

Getting Our Act Together On Solar – Elements of a Winning Strategy

The watchword in today’s global energy markets is change. This change in part includes the advance of solar and other renewable energy technologies – advances that can boost economic growth, improve energy security, and help address global warming. However, reaping these benefits, and particularly the jobs that go with these global industries, requires a strategic approach to clean technology innovation. This blog discusses how the United States might use an innovation-centered strategy to compete in the increasingly tough global solar power industry.

Ask the ChinaFAQs Experts: “With New Chinese Leadership, What Are the Prospects on Climate & Energy Policy?"

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to become president next year, is visiting Washington the week of February 13th. This has drawn attention to the future of the U.S.-China relationship. The visit presents an attractive platform to discuss climate and energy issues, which have often represented areas of cooperation between the two countries. We asked our panel of ChinaFAQs experts to provide their insights on top issues for new leadership to address on climate and energy, as well as prospects for the U.S.-China relationship on climate and energy under a Xi presidency.

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

I first would like to thank the members of the Commission for the opportunity to testify to this important group. It is an honor and a privilege.

I have been asked to speak about China’s approach to securing its energy supplies and implications for the United States. I will discuss China’s approach, whether it is impacting global energy markets and the competitive prospects of American energy companies, how Beijing’s energy security drive is influencing maritime territorial and sea lane disputes in the seas around Asia, and some suggestions on U.S. policy towards the developments.

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.

US-China Collaboration on Sustainable Urbanization

A group of government officials from China traveled on a study tour in the United States last week. The tour, hosted by the World Resources Institute, focused on low carbon development. The delegation was led by Director General Su Wei of the Department of Climate Change from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who is China’s chief negotiator on climate change and a key decision maker for low-carbon development initiatives.

China At Durban: First Steps Toward a New Climate Agreement

The UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, concluded over the weekend with a consensus to negotiate an agreement that will include all major emitters of warming gases. The conference agreed to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, extended the work of the group for Long-term Cooperative Action, and most significantly established new negotiations under the Durban Platform. Launching these negotiations was hailed as major progress around the world (Bloomberg, The Statesman, Xinhua). For the first time the world’s three major emitters (by total amount of greenhouse gases emitted), China, the United States and India, have agreed to begin negotiations for an international “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force,” indicating that there will be actions and efforts by all countries. (For the implications of this complex legal wording, see my colleague Jake Werksman’s discussion on WRI Insights).

ChinaFAQs: U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership

Key Points:

  • The US-China Renewable Energy Partnership (USCREP) is matching US cleantech firms with opportunities in Chinese markets.
  • The USCREP undertakes tasks in the key areas of improving wind and solar technologies, integrating renewable power with existing electric power grids, developing international standards and testing protocols for new energy technologies, and collaborating on policies to spur advancement of renewable energy technologies.
  • American companies, such as Boston-based Second Wind, are already benefiting from USCREP-fostered cooperation in terms of potential job creation and expanding exports.

China, US, other APEC Leaders Sign Commitment to Slash Tariffs on Green Goods and Services

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii last week, Chinese President Hu Jintao joined US President Obama and other APEC leaders in signing a pledge to cut tariffs on an undesignated list of environmental goods and services to 5 percent by 2015. APEC members also pledged to eliminate domestic content requirements on goods and services by 2012. Together, the 21 APEC economies account for 60 percent of global trade in environmental goods and services, and the global market for environmental technologies in 2008 represented $782 billion, with nearly $300 billion in the US, according to a US Commerce Department estimate. A spokesman for one organization representing US manufacturers hailed the commitment as a “huge” outcome. Read the full story at Reuters

China Agrees to End Wind Power Subsidies in WTO Consultations

In what appears to be a mutually-satisfactory outcome to a 9-month trade dispute resolution process initiated by the United Steelworkers (USW), China has agreed to end its “Special Fund for Wind Power Equipment Manufacturing” subsidy program that provided grants to domestic wind power producers favoring Chinese-made components over imports. In September 2010, the USW petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative to investigate several Chinese programs it said were against WTO rules. After reviewing the petition, in December the USTR requested formal dispute settlement consultations with the WTO concerning this wind subsidy program.

Energy Trade and Investment Could Benefit from the Strategic and Economic Dialogue

The latest meeting of the US –China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was held May 9 and 10 in Washington, DC and the two outcomes papers are out: The Strategic Track, which is essentially political, but also covers climate and energy, and the Economic Track, which is led by Treasury, but covers a number of trade and investment issues of interest to the energy industry.