China and the United States, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases accounting for about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted into the air, have announced a joint research effort to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient buildings, reports Reuters.
U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said at a press briefing with Chinese officials that the United States and China would commit an initial $15 million to develop new technology that will reduce and sequester carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, according to Reuters.
Cooperation between the U.S. and China is considered crucial if countries are to agree on a new international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when they meet in Copenhagen in December, reports Reuters.
Locke told Reuters that the United States was looking to China to do more in the climate talks.
China has resisted pressure to cap its greenhouse gas emissions on the grounds that it would jeopardize economic growth, although it has been taking steps to improve energy efficiency and boost its use of renewable fuels, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Western companies, particularly those located in Europe, are complaining increasingly about Beijing’s green protectionism tactics to become the world’s leader in renewable energy, reports the New York Times.
Cases in point: This spring, when China authorized its first solar power plant, it required that at least 80 percent of the equipment be made in China, and when the government took bids for 25 large contracts to supply wind turbines, every contract was won by one of seven domestic companies, according to the New York Times.
In addition, the Chinese government banned virtually any installation of wind turbines with a capacity of less than 1,000 kilowatts, which excludes 850-kilowatt designs, a popular size for European manufacturers, reports the newspaper.
Jorge Wuttke, the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, told the New York Times that European wind turbine makers have stopped even bidding for some Chinese contracts after concluding that their bids would not be seriously considered.