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Testimony by Deborah Seligsohn Before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power Committee on Energy and Commerce, April 4, 2011

In my testimony today, I will start by discussing both where China is now and its plans for the upcoming five years, and then I will talk about some of the business opportunities this creates for other countries, including the United States, that want to compete in new energy technologies.

China and Germany race ahead of the U.S. in clean energy investments: Alarm bell is ringing

China invested $54.4 billion on clean energy in 2010, $20 billion more than the U.S., according to the latest report from Pew Charitable Trusts and Bloomberg New Energy Finance released today. This is one-fifth of a global market that is growing at a record 30% pace. The competitive position of the U.S. has “deteriorated” so much that it slipped down to number three in private investment, as small-scale solar installations launched Germany into the number two spot. Pew and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s take-away: policies matter as China and Germany had strong ones and US policies stagnated.

Read the full post at Jake Schmidt’s NRDC Switchboard blog.

How China Developed Its 12th Five Year Plan

Professor Hu Angang, Director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University, published a piece on the Xinhua website last October that outlined the process for developing the 12th Five-Year Plan. The plan (available in Chinese here, also see an English summary of the energy and environment components here) was adopted at the close of this year’s National People’s Congress, March 14.

Professor Hu’s summary describes a step-by-step process involving thousands of officials, stakeholders and experts. The article itself also shows how the Chinese government has become more interested in informing the public about government processes.

We provide a summary of Prof. Hu’s description below:

The Next Five Years of Clean Energy and Climate Protection in China

With the adoption of its Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has cemented key long-term strategies for greening GDP, controlling energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and key pollutants, and capitalizing on the growing low-carbon economy (full Chinese plan). Environment and climate are given the most prominent position ever in a Five Year Plan, aspirations that will be backed up by a number of concrete planning documents over the coming months.

Read the full post at Barbara Finamore’s NRDC Switchboard Blog.

How does China’s 12th Five-Year Plan address energy and the environment?

The draft of China’s much-anticipated 12th Five-Year Plan was released this Saturday, March 5 at the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). The Plan will actually be brought to a vote at the close of the session later this week. While there may be some changes to the Plan, in past years these have not been large.

China Puts Forth Energy Intensity, Carbon Intensity and Total Energy Consumption Targets in Twelfth Five Year Plan in Effort to Tackle "Unsustainable Economic Growth"

China’s annual parliamentary session opened Saturday morning, with 3,000 National People’s Congress members and 2,000 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) gathered in the Great Hall of the People to hear Premier Wen Jiabao deliver the annual report reviewing the work of the government in 2010 and looking forward to the Twelfth Five Year Plan, including key targets of the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

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.