WASHINGTON — Clean energy cooperation between China and the United States have produced encouraging results in the past few years, Chinese Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang has said after the seventh meeting of the Steering Committee of the Joint US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).
“Developing clean energy and tackling climate change have become a focus for China and the United States to work together, to mobilize the enthusiasm of the two countries. The discussions in today’s meeting are pleasant and the results are encouraging,” Wan told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on June 1.
China and the United States have taken turns to hold the annual Steering Committee meeting of the CERC, which was set up in 2009. This year’s meeting was aimed to implement the national commitments to curb greenhouse gas emission jointly announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in November and to further promote bilateral cooperation on clean energy technology.
According to a bilateral joint announcement, the United States has set a target to reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025, while China has pledged to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.
“To achieve the ambitious goal of tackling climate change raised by the two leaders, China and the United States need to continue their current solid cooperation on clean energy development,” said Wan.
He said that promoting clean energy development means a “ threefold good thing” for China as it will not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also promote the development of clean energy industry, creating more jobs and helping China’s industrial restructuring.
This will contribute to a more stable economy, he said.
The practical cooperation on clean energy between the two countries in the past years has boosted bilateral scientific and technological innovation, market development, exchanges of scientists and entrepreneurs, and training a large number of talents in this area for both countries, he said.
The minister believed the CERC has established a good cooperation mechanism and set up a good example for promoting Sino- US scientific cooperation in other areas, especially on how to protect intellectual property rights during cooperation, which both countries have great concern.
“Since the CERC started, the two sides have spent quite a lot of time in dealing with intellectual property issues in bilateral cooperation and signed technology management plans, which has effectively avoided intellectual property disputes,” he said.
Over the past years, CERC has set up an effective platform for the two countries to strengthen cooperation on advanced coal technologies, building energy efficiency and clean vehicles, according to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
Last November, Presidents Xi and Obama announced agreement to extend the CERC mandate for an additional five years from 2016 to 2020 and expand scope of CERC research to include water-related aspects of energy production and use.