U.S., China announce clean energy pact

President Barack Obama is in Beijing today, working with Chinese President Hu Jintao on a number of issues pertaining to U.S.-China relations. One of the prime areas of concern: Climate change — how the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases can collaborate to turn around global warming. As a start, the two leaders announced an ambitious list of agreements to accelerate the transition to clean energy in both countries.

The U.S. Department of Energy has listed the various measures included in the pact, and we’ve summarized them for you below. You can read the full press release here, but we’ve also linked to fact sheets for each one of the initiatives.

U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center: A research center will be established for joint development of clean energy technologies, employing both American and Chinese scientists. The facility will receive $150 million in funding over the next five years, to support an initial focus on clean coal technologies, carbon sequestration and emissions-free vehicles.

U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative: The two countries will develop joint standards, demonstration projects and product roadmaps to make electric vehicles more ubiquitous. The initiative will span 12 cities between the two countries.

U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Action Plan: The two countries say they will work together to increase the efficiency of buildings, industrial facilities and home appliances. The two governments pledged to work with their respective private sectors to encourage more stringent building codes, benchmarks, energy efficiency audits, and certification systems. They will also share best practices, labeling systems and hold a forum on these topics annually.

U.S-China Renewable Energy Partnership: The presidents agreed to draft their own plans to expedite the wide adoption of renewable energy sources. As part of this, their governments will provide the necessary resources to states and regions to jumpstart solar, wind and other alternative developments. This initiative will also create an Advanced Grid Working Group that will connect American and Chinese policymakers, regulators and utility leaders in modernizing the grid to better integrate distributed, green sources of energy.

21st Century Coal:
Using the new U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, the U.S. and China will cooperate to develop feasible clean coal technologies, including carbon capture. This initiative includes four component deals between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the China Power Engineering and Consulting Group for gasification; between Missouri-based Peabody Energy and Chinese energy company alliance GreenGen to develop low-emission power plants; between General Electric and the Shenhua Corporation to develop and deploy integrated gasification combined cycle processes; and between AES and Songzao Coal and Electric to use methane captured from a coal mine to produce more electricity.

Shale Gas Initiative: Using technology developed in the U.S., China will tap its shale gas reserves. The two countries will also collaborate on technical studies into shale resources and jointly encourage investment in the space.

U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program: Mobilizing private-sector resources, this initative will bring together 22 companies to collaborate on renewable energy, smart grid, clean transportation, green building, clean coal, HVA and energy efficiency projects designed to benefit both countries.

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