Expanding Bilateral Cooperation with Major Emerging Economies
(Climate Action Plan, p. 17.)
- The United States is to find new areas for bilateral climate cooperation.
- The United States is to work with China on using the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Implementation, Progress, and Outcomes
July 2013: During the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) agreed to propose five “new action initiatives” to combat climate change and promote low-carbon development: (1) Emission reductions from heavy-duty and other vehicles; (2) Smart Grids; (3) Carbon capture, utilization and storage; (4) Collecting and managing greenhouse gas emissions data; and (5) Energy efficiency in buildings and industry. (DOS Special Envoy for Climate Change, Report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, State.gov (July 10, 2013).)
September 6, 2013: Presidents Obama and Xi agreed to establish a contact group under the Montreal Protocol on HFCs to consider issues related to cost-effectiveness, financial and technology support, safety, environmental benefits, and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. (Press Release, White House, United States and China Reach Agreement on Phase Down of HFCs (Sept. 6, 2013).)
December 5, 2013: The White House issued a joint U.S-China fact sheet detailing recent agreements reached by the CCWG as part of the S&ED. To accelerate progress of the CCWG Heavy-Duty and Other Vehicles initiative, both sides committed to working together to help China design and implement “China VI” vehicle-emissions standards as soon as practical. They also committed to strengthening “communication in heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards,” to promoting implementation of “clean action plans” for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, and to exploring ways to design and implement clean action plans for non-road motor vehicles and diesel engines. The U.S. committed to providing technical assistance to support these efforts and to continue providing technical assistance on regional air-quality management and modeling, including of mobile-source emissions. (Fact Sheet, White House Office of the Vice President, Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations (Dec. 5, 2013).)
The December 5, 2013, fact sheet also detailed a number of agreements relating to energy. The two countries committed to enhancing transparency in the energy sector and to cooperate on energy-market transparency in particular. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is to share expertize in gathering and distributing energy data, while China will work toward more complete and more frequent publication of public energy statistics. Both sides committed to cooperating on strategic petroleum reserves, sharing policy, management, and technological information. To accelerate natural gas development in China, the U.S. committed to assist China in improving its regulatory frameworks. The two countries committed to jointly promoting responsible development and exploitation of unconventional gas resources through technological innovation, environmental supervision, and resource regulation. The U.S. also committed to actively encouraging the export to China of technologies and equipment related to gas and oil exploration and development. Both countries committed to undergo fossil-fuel-subsidy peer reviews using the G-20 process and to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. (Fact Sheet, White House Office of the Vice President, Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations (Dec. 5, 2013).)
February 15, 2014: Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the CCWG had completed implementation plans for the five initiatives it identified in July 2013 (see above). He also announced that the U.S. and China had agreed on a “unique cooperative effort” to increase information exchanges and policy discussions with the goal of providing leadership for global climate change negotiations in 2015. Kerry said, “we have hopes that it will help to set an example for global leadership and global seriousness on the issue of next year’s climate change negotiation.” (John Kerry, U.S. Sec’y of State, Remarks at Cummins-Foton Joint Venture Plant, Beijing, China (Feb. 15, 2014).)
June 24, 2013: At the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he and his Indian counterpart had agreed to create a working group to intensify joint efforts to identify ways to work together to address climate change. (John Kerry, Remarks With Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, State.gov (June 24, 2013).) The two sides announced a number of new joint initiatives including a new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) loan guarantee under the Development Credit Authority to mobilize at least $100 million for clean-energy investments; new collaboration on smart and efficient A/C and space cooling; and a new joint working group on low-carbon sustainable growth. (Media Note, DOS Office of the Spokesperson, U.S.-India Joint Fact Sheet: Sustainable Growth, Energy and Climate Change, Energy.gov (June 24, 2013).) In addition, the countries will enhance the existing U.S.-India Global Climate Change Dialogue to engage in constructive discussions on the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Durban Platform and on climate policy, and to identify opportunities for further and significant bilateral cooperation. (Media Note, DOS Office of the Spokesperson, U.S.-India Joint Fact Sheet: Sustainable Growth, Energy and Climate Change, Energy.gov (June 24, 2013).)
September 27, 2013: The White House announced a number of agreements between the U.S. and India after a summit meeting in Washington. The countries agreed to form a Climate Change Working Group and to launch a Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) initiative and a U.S.-India Collaboration on Smart and Efficient Air Conditioning and Space Cooling. The PEACE initiative aims to make clean energy available to those who are underserved by the electricity grid, in part by directing financial support to early-stage clean energy projects. The initiative will take place as part of the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, a collaboration that began in 2009 and that has mobilized about $2 billion in resources to support clean energy projects in India. (See Fact Sheet, White House, Fact Sheet: The United States and India—Strategic and Global Partners (Sept. 27, 2013).)
The new Climate Change Working Group is meant to support action-oriented cooperation and enhanced dialogue between the two countries and help in negotiating a multilateral climate agreement in 2015. Areas of Working Group collaboration will include clean energy, smart electric grids, energy efficiency, adaptation and resiliency, and sustainable forestry and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). (See Fact Sheet, White House, Fact Sheet: The United States and India—Strategic and Global Partners (Sept. 27, 2013).)
Finally, the U.S.-India Collaboration on Smart and Efficient Air Conditioning and Space Cooling is intended to address the major contribution to peak electricity demand from air conditioning and other climate control in India. The goal is to advance policies and innovation that will lead to rapid and widespread adoption of high-efficiency cooling equipment. The potential energy savings could eliminate the need to build as many as 120 large power plants. (See Fact Sheet, White House, Fact Sheet: The United States and India—Strategic and Global Partners (Sept. 27, 2013).)
This page was last updated on Feb. 17, 2014.