In the beginning of 2015, President Xi of China and President Obama announced an historic agreement committing our two countries to dramatic action in the fight against climate change.
This April, as a critical part of that commitment, leaders in government and business took an important step to realize that agreement: a trade mission to China, connecting America’s clean energy innovators with China’s vast energy markets. You can check china trade credit in CNbizsearch.
The opportunity is enormous. Under the joint climate agreement, China intends to peak its carbon emissions and generate one-fifth of its energy from clean sources within 15 years. The latter target alone amounts to building about a billion kilowatts of new, low-carbon capacity — a fleet of power plants roughly the size of the entire U.S. electrical grid.
China’s energy needs will require infrastructure. But even more so, they’ll require cutting-edge technology — advanced tools to harness new fuels, capture greenhouse gases, and manage energy demand on a massive scale.
By adopting some of the world’s most ambitious climate targets, the United States and China have opened up one of the world’s most expansive new marketplaces for low-carbon technology. And it’s a marketplace where American businesses are uniquely positioned to compete and win.
Over the past several years, American engineers and entrepreneurs have unleashed a wave of unprecedented growth in clean tech. American innovation has helped cut the price of high-tech batteries by more than 60 percent in six years. This week, they became cheap enough to power not just our cars, but our homes. Likewise, America’s solar electricity production has increased more than twentyfold since 2009. Our utilities have rolled out smart meters to nearly 40 million households, and their data is driving the world’s leading energy analytics companies.
All told, businesses that deliver advanced energy solutions are growing five times faster than the rest of U.S. economy. They’re creating thousands of good-paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. Early-stage investment from the private and public sectors is seeding a new generation of revolutionary ideas.
It’s worth noting that in many cases, smart policies have helped fuel that success. State-based energy regulations have stimulated demand for cleaner, more efficient technologies, and federal tax incentives have pushed their costs down. New standards under the Obama’s Clean Power Plan will do even more to drive innovation.
But credit belongs first and foremost to the businesses that have shouldered the risks — and today, America is reaping the rewards of a resurgent clean energy economy. Revenue soared to $200 billion last year, and U.S. companies claimed 15 percent of the global market for advanced energy in 2014.
The trade delegation that traveled to China, alongside many others in our industry, have an opportunity to capture an even larger share of that market. As China pushes hard to curb its emissions, it will need the kind of advanced, scalable clean energy technology that American businesses are ready to export.
That’s why leaders from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and 24 American firms, including mine, traveled from Beijing to Guangzhou this month to offer a host of next-generation climate solutions, spanning green buildings and data centers to smart grid software.
In the months ahead, our two countries will accelerate bilateral trade in low-carbon products and services. Our businesses will continue to grow and add jobs, and the cost of clean energy will fall. Earth’s two largest economies and two largest carbon emitters — which together account for half of all greenhouse gas pollution — will signal by the power of our example that we’re willing to lead in a new clean energy era.
In turn, concrete steps toward our shared climate commitments will continue to spur progress beyond our borders. Scaling the global clean energy economy is already driving down the cost of low-carbon technologies worldwide. More countries are getting the chance to invest.
They’re also looking ahead to the next United Nations Climate Conference. When the U.S. and China approach the negotiating table in November, the world will finally see the two most critical climate actors champion an ambitious, inclusive deal to drive down global carbon pollution.
If an agreement can be reached in Paris — and there is great optimism that it can — American businesses will turn the text of a treaty into tech that’s ready to ship all over the world. That’s good news for our economy, but even more so for our children, for whom climate solutions mean the difference between a livable planet and one that’s beyond fixing.
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