Climate Change Knows No Borders

Just as trade winds cross the Pacific Ocean, so do good ideas about combating global climate change. Come this December, California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller will join a trade mission to China with clean energy companies from California and across the U.S. this mission is being organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance, China San Francisco, U.S.-China Clean Tech Center and the California-China Trade and Investment Office. It follows Governor Edmund G. Brown’s 2013 gubernatorial trade mission to China. The goal of that trip was, to gain support for addressing climate change and further encourage trade and investment opportunities in clean energy technology.

Governor Brown and Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua (left) sign climate change agreement September 2013.

Last September, Chair Weisenmiller and Matt Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between California and the China National Development and Reform Commission to fight climate change through low-carbon development. This past June, they were part of a roundtable hosted by the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance on the role of clean energy and energy efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollutants from the energy sector.

Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller (center) joins discussion at California-China Cooperation on Climate Change.

The focus of the December trade mission is to facilitate partnerships between U.S. and Chinese clean energy companies and provide guidance to American companies looking to enter or expand operations in China’s market. Given the rapid expansion of China’s energy sector; how China builds its energy future will have global economic and environmental implications. The good news -- China is prioritizing investments in clean transportation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

California’s experience fostering a clean energy industry through landmark policies, investing in energy research and development, providing incentives for zero-emission vehicles, and developing appliance and building energy efficiency standards has established the state as a global environmental leader. These experiences can serve as a model for other jurisdictions to imitate.

In December, the U.S. delegation will visit half a dozen cities in China's Northeast region, including Beijing and Qingdao. Cities chosen have specific needs for clean energy and supportive officials who have the ability to organize meetings geared toward the U.S. delegations' interests.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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