U.S.-China Energy Security Cooperation Dialogue
The 2007 U.S.-China Energy Security Cooperation Dialogue was held in a period when a broad range of activities and policy recommendations have been proposed to address global energy security and environmental issues. The Dialogue identified a number of further steps that China and the United States could cooperatively undertake to accelerate developments.
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Participants from both countries agreed on a number of fundamental positions on the challenges posed by the concurrent need for energy security, environmental awareness and economic growth. These included the following:
- Both countries need to address energy security and environmental challenges as a strategic priority.
- Obtaining a sustainable solution is beyond the ability of any one country or region acting alone.
- Solutions will require dramatic changes in energy supply and demand patterns and paradigm shifts in policies.
- Solutions will require a stable investment in climate, global cooperation, intellectual property protection, and reliance on market forces, as well as regulatory and market-based incentives to alter existing consumption patterns and diversify energy portfolios.
- Behavior change on a massive scale will be necessary to have a significant impact within the next 15-20 years.
- Without a major refocusing of nearer-term efforts, the goals of dramatically improving the world’s energy security and environmental outlook by the middle of the century are not likely to be realized.
- Given the magnitude of the task and urgency for change, we cannot wait for the grand policy debates currently underway to be finalized before moving ahead to do all we can with existing and newly evolving technology and knowledge.
The Dialogue resulted in the identification of forty-two specific recommendations in the following six areas:
- Energy efficiency and reduced emissions: Establish programs to develop and enforce national measurement, reporting and verification, set efficiency standards for manufactured goods, lighting and buildings, identify technologies and companies to meet more rigorous standards, assess the effectiveness of national, state and municipal incentives and regulations and assist in the development of market mechanisms to improve the allocation of resources. Joint attention to increasing the effectiveness of the Clean Development Mechanism and to the treatment of forestry.
- New technology: Strengthen existing laws, including those affecting intellectual property rights; negotiate agreements clarifying the acceptability of cross-national investments in particular industries; establish a fund or set of funds with adequate resources to support specific new technologies.
- Safe utilization of nuclear power: Establish joint activities to migrate to Generation IV reactors and cooperate on developing and commercializing gas-cooled pebble bed reactors; cooperation on reprocessing spent fuel, improving plant performance, engineering and construction.
- Clean coal technologies: Undertake environmental and economic assessments to accelerate the commercialization of technologies for carbon capture and storage and identify the potential to reduce emissions and increase efficiencies by using beneficiated coal.
- Renewable power: Joint activities to develop technologies, assess potential benefits and opportunities and establish fiscal and financial incentives.
- Transportation industries: Joint research on new fuels, assessment of the effectiveness of regulatory, fiscal and financial incentives, and collaborative development of analytic capabilities and information systems to create holistic inter-modal transportation systems in both countries. To support China’s growing role in world energy markets, continue dialogue on the need to increase transparency in data from petroleum producing countries, participation in the IEA, and the maintenance of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Although there is currently considerable cooperation between China and the United States, the report concludes that the scale and funding of this activity to date has not been large enough to meet the challenges posed by the current energy and environmental outlook.