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Readout on Secretary Chu's China Meetings on Clean Energy

July 15, 2009 - 12:00am


BEIJING, CHINA - Secretary Chu is meeting with a series of Chinese officials during this week's trip to China. We will be providing readouts on these meetings whenever possible. The first update appears below from Dan Leistikow, Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy.

Secretary Chu, joined by Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow and other Department of Energy Officials, met Wednesday morning with Lu Yongxiang, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other leading scientists.

It was a very positive discussion with both sides recognizing the potential for growing partnership and collaboration between the US and China on clean energy issues, building on progress made over the past three decades since the first US-China bilateral science and technology partnership agreement signed by President Carter and President Deng Xiaopeng 30 years ago.

Secretary Chu noted that history has shown us that science transcends international boundaries, and dialogue between scientists has helped lay the groundwork for stronger relations between nations. Secretary Chu stressed that China and the US -- which account for 42 percent of greenhouse emissions -- have both an opportunity and an obligation to expand our work together in the development of clean energy technologies as a way to combat climate change.

On Tuesday evening, Secretary Chu and Secretary Locke met with Zhang Ping, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Zhang Guobao, Vice-Minister of NDRC and Administrator of the National Energy Agency. They had productive discussions on clean energy cooperation and the priority both governments attach to it. Specific topics included carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, science education and the role of clean energy in economic recovery.

Secretary Chu delivered a major address to an audience of top scientists, faculty and students at Tsinghua University Wednesday afternoon focusing on the growing threat China and the U.S. face from climate change, from extreme heat waves to declining rice and agricultural production to flooding of major urban areas in coastal regions.  He stressed that dealing with climate change presents opportunities as well as challenges, including the opportunity to create millions of jobs in the clean energy sector.  He also outlined a number of solutions that the two countries are working to address, such as developing more efficient batteries, lower cost photovoltaics, and commercial scale carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

Following the speech, Secretary Chu and his delegation met with Tsinghua University President Gu Binglin Bio and several of the university's leading scientists in the clean energy field.  Secretary Chu praised the work of Tsinghua University not only to address technological challenges but also to educate the next generation of leaders who must continue to confront the challenge of climate change and the clean energy revolution.  Secretary Chu noted that both his parents were graduates of Tsinghua University and his aunt was a chemistry professor at the University.

Secretary Chu and Secretary Locke met with State Counselor Liu Yandong, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, and Administrator of National Energy Administration Zhang Guo Bao at the Great Hall of the People.  They agreed on the need for expanded partnerships in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.  To that end, following the meeting, they jointly announced a new Joint Research Center on Clean Energy.  The U.S. and China together pledged $15 million to support initial activities. The Department of Energy has issued a press release and fact sheet covering the announcement in greater detail.

Tsinghua Slideshow (English)

Tsinghua Slideshow (Chinese)

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