Friday, February 06, 2009

Hillary Clinton To Visit China, Japan and South Korea

Beginning February 15, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Japan, South Korea, and China. Clinton will focus on climate change in her meetings with officials in China. The list of priorities are those that can provide fast results, including: low emissions coal technologies, improving energy efficiency and conservation, developing an advanced electric grid, promoting renewable energy, quantifying emissions and financing low-carbon technologies. The Center intends to participate in these areas and we will be promoting expanded use of nuclear power. We believe an accelerated program to deploy China's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) technology is an attractive method for complementing carbon dioxide reduction with economic growth.

The Center traveled to China in 2007 to visit Tsinghua University's PBMR research reactor and standard nuclear power plants in Guangdong Province near Hong Kong. We believe standard reactors and PBMRs should be part of the discussions. We hope to engage Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and other administration officials in promoting this agenda.

The Asia Society and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change issued a joint report, "Common Challenge, Collaborative Response: A Roadmap for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change," which lays out a "road map" for U.S.-China cooperation on climate change -- a project that was co-chaired by Steven Chu, now energy secretary have issued a joint report laying out a "road map" for U.S.-China cooperation on climate change -- a project that was co-chaired by Steven Chu, now energy secretary. (WashPost, 26/09) The report calls for initial engagement at a presidential summit, but also outlines some of the critical project areas that should be jointly explored through practical collaboration by officials at other levels of government as well as by the private sector.

Areas where direct collaboration is expected to yield the quickest and most substantial results on reducing greenhouse gas emissions have been given highest priority. Priority areas of collaboration include:

Deploying Low-Emissions Coal Technologies. The likelihood that both the United States and China will continue to rely heavily on coal for many years to come necessitates immediate and large-scale investments in the research, development, and deployment of new technologies for the capture and sequestration of carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Improving Energy Efficiency and Conservation. Both the United States and China have significant potential to lower their carbon emissions through low-cost, and even no-cost, energy efficiency and conservation measures that would have considerable impact on each country’s “carbon footprint” and energy security.

Developing an Advanced Electric Grid. Both the United States and China rely on outdated, decentralized, and inefficient electrical transmission systems. Both countries could profit from research, development,and adoption of new “smart grid” technologies capable of enabling these systems to handle larger quotients of low-carbon energy from episodic, but renewable sources of power more cheaply and efficiently.

Promoting Renewable Energy. There is an obvious need for both countries to develop a far broader deployment of solar,wind, and other renewable sources of energy in order to de-carbonize their respective electricity systems, expand their low-carbon economies, and thereby diminish their carbon emissions per unit of GDP.

Quantifying Emissions and Financing Low-Carbon Technologies. To help facilitate cooperation in the above areas, it will be important to continue to jointly address the cross-cutting issues of quantifying and projecting emissions, and financing technology development and deployment.

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