Clean energy focus of California-China cooperation

2023-05-29 13:23:32China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Clean energy has been a focus of cooperation between California and China in various sectors, said U.S. officials who are looking forward to deepening the engagement to achieve ambitious climate goals and economic benefits.

The cities of Shanghai and Los Angeles provide an example of collaboration to decarbonize the supply chains between the world's two largest economies.

"With the help of the C40 climate network, our ports have launched a green shipping corridor. Together, we're partnering to decarbonize the supply chains that connect our companies and our consumers," said Erin Bromaghim, deputy mayor of Los Angeles, at the 2023 California-China Business Forum in Los Angeles on May 22.

The C40 network is a group of major cities around the world that are committed to addressing climate change. Bromaghim said both Los Angeles and Shanghai are the centers of vibrant economies and home to the biggest ports in their respective nations, and she was "very excited about our growing collaboration with Shanghai".

"We're focused on accelerating the innovative technologies that will zero the emissions of ships that serve this important trade route, as well as our port operations," said Bromaghim. "This incredibly important work is done together to confront our shared challenge of climate change."

The business forum attracted around 400 businesses and trade representatives from California and China.

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis took the opportunity to encourage investment from China to participate in the "green wave" happening in the state.

California's transition to a clean economy presents an "extraordinary" business opportunity for investors from around the world, particularly China, said Kounalakis.

"For decades, we have proven that it is possible to grow our economy while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have set some of the most ambitious targets in the world. We have invested billions of dollars in incentives and tax credits. We are building a workforce to take on our ambitious infrastructure projects. And we already employ more people in the clean economy than any other state in the nation," she said.

California leads the United States in electric-vehicle adoption and in the generation and use of clean energy to power the electric grid, said the lieutenant governor.

In 15 years, the EV industry has gone from startup to the producer of one of California's largest commercial exports, she said, and Caifornia has set a goal to power the state with 90 percent clean energy by 2035 and 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

To achieve those goals, the state is expanding renewable energy resources, like solar, wind and geothermal, and developing energy storage technologies; collaboration with China plays an important role, she said.

"California and China have built a notable record of collaboration in climate resiliency and environmental protection," said Kounalakis. "Over the last 10 years, we have signed over 20 memoranda of understanding at the national, provincial and municipal level."

For example, the California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, led by former California governor Jerry Brown, continues to be an important center for innovation and dialogue between the two sides, she added.

To meet the ambitious climate goals, Stephanie Duran, director at the U.S. Department of Energy's China Office, identifies carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) as an important area for collaboration.

She explained that CCUS is essential for industrial decarbonization for facilities like steel and cement factories, and power plants. The global task at hand now is to expand CCUS into larger, more challenging capture sources, she said.

"In fact, CCUS and direct air capture were specifically called out in the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration," said Duran. "We are excited about the prospects for development of regional scale carbon management hubs in the U.S. and in China."

China has announced multiple pilots and studies around industrial clusters, including a project in East China to develop the nation's first open source 10 million-tonne-per-year CCUS project in support of industrial decarbonization and the development of low carbon supply chains, said Duran.

"The U.S. and China have a strong track record of engagement on carbon management," she said, "and U.S.-China efforts are critical to strengthen the global push to develop, demonstrate and deploy carbon management technologies and move the needle towards commercialization of scale up."


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