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World's Biggest Polluters Strike a Deal: U.S. and China Agree to Comprehensive Clean Energy and Climate Plan

The overall plan is much more ambitious in scope and depth than anticipated.

" Very exciting day here in Beijing.  There's enormous interest in both governments in working together to fight climate change.  The package announced today is far-reaching and can make a real difference in cutting emissions.”

That's an exclusive quote from David Sandalow, DOE's Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, who just emailed me from China about the newly announced U.S.-China cooperation plan.  Sandalow is going to be in Copenhagen, so I hope to have a real interview with him then.  For details on this plan (with links) and what it means, here is analysis by Andrew Light and Julian L. Wong of the Center for American Progress.  Note that the deal goes beyond "obvious" areas like efficiency and renewables to include things like shale gas, which appears to exist in abundance in China and could allow repowering of existing Chinese coal plants and more rapid medium-term reductions than people have thought possible.

This morning, a comprehensive plan for U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy and climate change was announced in Beijing by President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao. The overall plan is much more ambitious in scope and depth than we had anticipated and contains directives to create various institutions and programs addressing a wide array of cooperation on clean-energy technologies and capacity building, including very important efforts on helping China build a robust, transparent and accurate inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions.

These efforts include cooperation in the following areas:


1.  Greenhouse Gas Inventory.  A memorandum of cooperation between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and China's National Development and Reform Commission sets out avenues for collaboration on capacity building in climate change, with an initial focus on helping China to develop a robust, transparent and accurate greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

2.Joint Clean Energy Research Center. Originally announced this July, more details were provided on the joint center that will "facilitate joint research and development of clean energy technologies by teams of scientists and engineers from the United States and China, as well as serve as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each country."  Financial support from public and private sources of at least $150 million over five years, split evenly between the two countries, will be provided.  The Center's research will initially focus on building energy efficiency, clean coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles. ( Factsheet)

3.  Electric Vehicles . Those initiative will "include joint standards development, demonstration projects in more than a dozen cities, technical roadmapping and public education projects."  ( Factsheet)

4. Energy Efficiency . Building on the Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment Cooperation, government officials of both countries will "work together and with the private sector to develop energy efficient building codes and rating systems, benchmark industrial energy efficiency, train building inspectors and energy efficiency auditors for industrial facilities, harmonize test procedures and performance metrics for energy efficient consumer products, [and] exchange best practices in energy efficient labeling systems." ( Factsheet)

5.  Renewable Energy.   The two countries will develop roadmaps for wide-spread renewable energy deployment in both countries.  The Partnership will also provide technical and analytical resources to states and regions in both countries to support renewable energy deployment and will facilitate state-to-state and region-to-region partnerships to share experience and best practices.  ( Factsheet)

6.  21st Century Coal. The two countries will "launch a program of technical cooperation to bring teams of U.S. and Chinese scientists and engineers together in developing clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies."  The Presidents also welcomed a package of announcements on public-private partnerships in advanced coal technologies. ( Factsheet)

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