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Fact Sheet: U.S. and China Actions Matter for Global Energy Demand, for Global Environmental Quality, and for the Challenge of Global Climate Change

December 5, 2008 - 4:58pm

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  • The U.S. is committed to working together with China to tackle current energy challenges the world faces, including cultivating sufficient investment, the development and deployment of new energy technologies, and addressing greenhouse gas emissions from producing and using energy.
  • Our cooperation spans power generation, efficient buildings, sustainable transportation, emissions-free nuclear power, and clean fossil fuels.
  • The U.S. and China are the world's largest energy consumers and are expected to remain the top two oil consumers in the world for the foreseeable future. China is likely to experience very large growth rates for both its economy and energy consumption over the next two decades. The U.S. continues working with China to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
  • The actions of the U.S. and China matter for global energy demand, for global environmental quality, and for the challenge of global climate change. 
  • Our governments need to take positive action to reduce uncertainty in the market and encourage investment.  Only by providing clear signals to the energy industry can we secure our future energy needs.  Our governments should work together to increase energy security through:
    • Fostering transparent and efficient energy markets;
    • Lowering trade barriers, particularly for clean energy and other environmental goods and services;
    • Supporting measures to increase energy efficiency; and,
    • Providing consistent policies for investment in oil, gas, coal, and renewables.

 The U.S. and China's Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) Action Plans:

  • The U.S. and China's five Action Plans - developed under the SED Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework - are critically important. DOE took the lead in working with China to develop the two energy-related action plans under the Ten Year Framework, one on Clean, Efficient and Secure Electricity Production and Transmission and the other on Clean and Efficient Transportation.
  • Under these Action Plans, the U.S. and China will build on past cooperation, such as our work in promoting biofuels production and its use in transportation and in improving energy efficiency through industrial efficiency assessments.
  • The Action Plans also take us in important new directions, such as helping China to achieve low sulfur fuels for both gasoline and diesel engines and the introduction of more stringent emission standards in China for the transportation sector.
  • The U.S. continues to work with China through the Strategic Economic Dialogue, Energy Policy Dialogue, Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and other bilateral and multilateral forums towards confronting our global energy challenges, including building efficiency, transportation, electricity, renewable and alternative energy sources and energy diversification, in a collaborative, environmentally effective, and economically sustainable approach. Examples include conducting on-site industrial energy assessments, energy training at the Mayors Training Center, building codes, and sustainable reconstruction in earthquake zones. 

Past, Current and Future U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Collaboration:

  • U.S. DOE and the Beijing Municipality worked closely to promote use of clean energy technologies at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.  DOE provided expert technical and policy assistance.
  • The Olympic Village was approximately 50 percent more energy efficient than similar buildings in Beijing. DOE worked with the developer and the US Green Building Council (GBC) to submit the entire Olympic Village as a USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, receiving a Gold LEED certification. This is the first Olympic Village to receive such recognition.  In addition, the Olympic Welcome Center is a near zero energy building, also called a Micro-Energy Building.
  • DOE technical support provided a variety of energy efficiency technologies to reduce the heating and cooling loads, improve lighting efficiency, save water and serve as models of what the next generation of housing could be in China.
  • DOE continues to work with its Chinese counterparts to conduct energy efficiency assessments of buildings and industry factories, among others, to improve energy use and cut greenhouse gas emissions; to expand cooperation on biofuels production and use; and to promote large-scale deployment of electric-drive and fuel cell technologies for transportation.
  • DOE is now working with Chinese officials to prepare an Action Plan on energy efficiency in the latest development under the SED Ten Year Framework.
  • Through U.S. - China partnerships and discussions, the two countries will continue to make progress in all of these areas while sustaining economic growth.

The Path Forward:

  • The world needs more energy supplies of all types.  We need more hydrocarbons now and in the near future.  Over time, the role of renewable energy will continue to grow. Diversity of supplies, suppliers and supply routes is a key component to enhancing global energy security.
  • U.S. - China partnerships and bilateral discussions will drive progress toward reducing energy consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions and promoting more efficient energy markets.

Media contact(s):

Healy Baumgardner, (202) 586-4940

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