Economic Message of the Week: China and U.S. Launch Joint Clean Energy Research Project

The earth's leading greenhouse
gas emitters are taking substantive steps toward clean energy innovation.

The United States and China announced plans on a joint clean energy
research center, a compromise project aimed at developing clean building and
vehicle technology and fostering a more convivial air between the two

The project, which will be driven by
headquarter facilities in both countries, is a significant part of the effort
to lobby China to promote development of solar, wind, biofuels and other clean
energy in the private sector, already a burgeoning movement.

One of the initiative's main
proponents is U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Secretary
Chu, who urged
China to set carbon emission targets for the year 2050, also warned that the rising sea levels that will
result from global warming would displace more people in China
than in
any other country. 

In addition to spurring clean energy development within
China, U.S. officials pushed for a more open network for international
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke appealed to
leaders of the new partner nation to avoid forcing trade barriers on clean
energy technology: "We need to empower U.S. and Chinese entrepreneurs and
innovators to create and collaborate free from artificial trade barriers."

Published: July 21, 2009