Enhancing U.S.-China cooperation on energy and climate change

Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour Microsoft's Beijing campus. (DOE)

Building on agreements reached in 2014 to advance energy and environmental cooperation between China and the United States, top U.S. officials from the U.S. departments of Energy and Commerce teamed up for a presidential trade mission to China.

Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall spoke April 14 at Microsoft’s Beijing campus, addressing Chinese and American business leaders and government officials. She said innovations in clean energy can help create jobs, drive economic growth and address climate change in both nations.

Her key points:

1) The United States and China are cooperating to combat climate change. The United States and China are the world’s largest economies and also the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. That means they have a leading role to play in addressing climate change. This trade mission builds on the ambitious climate change announcement by President Obama and President Xi in 2014 as countries look forward to a successful global climate summit in Paris later this year.

2) Technology is the best solution to climate change. Low-cost, low-carbon technology has the potential to change the worldwide picture on climate. Driving down the cost of green technologies enables aggressive policy changes, ultimately making clean energy goals much easier to achieve. The Department of Energy is aggressively supporting the research, development and deployment of game-changing technologies including wind, solar, LEDs and electric vehicles.

3) Businesses will lead the way. As Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said April 7, “Ultimately our focus is on the solutions to the climate-change challenge through technology.”

The trade mission is one of several efforts underway to help expand U.S.-China clean energy cooperation following the joint announcement made by President Obama and President Xi on November 12, 2014, in Beijing on the two countries’ post-2020 climate targets.