Science

California and China Partner to Combat Climate Change

By | Jun 11, 2017 11:21 PM EDT
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Climate leaders

Gov. Jerry Brown of California meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo : Xinhua)

California, the state leading the United States' fight against climate change, and China's Tsinghua University will establish a U.S.-China Climate Change Institute to cooperate on technology and research in the battle against climate change.

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A misguided decision by President Donald Trump on June 2 to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate change accord raised concerns that joint initiatives by the U.S. and China, the world's two biggest emitters of climate warming greenhouse gases, might be irrevocably damaged.

California under its environment protection champion Governor Jerry Brown, however, has promised to step up cooperation with China. Gov. Brown said the state will work with China's Ministry of Science and Technology to develop and commercialize know-how on carbon capture and storage and other clean energy technologies.

The new institute was unveiled at an event in Tsinghua with Gov. Brown, who was in Beijing last week to discuss deepening cooperation with China on climate and clean technology.

Gov. Brow blasted Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate change accord as "insane."

The institute will concentrate on technological innovation; climate change policies and strategies.

"In terms of sectors, it would happen in energy, for instance clean-coal tech which Tsinghua has in-depth research, transportation, architecture and renewable energy," said Yao Qiang, director of Tsinghua's Laboratory of Low Carbon Energy.

Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission, said the state was working to bring together research institutions and establish joint incubator hubs with Chinese provinces, including Sichuan and Jiangsu.

During his sojourn to China, Gov. Brown was granted an audience with Chinese president Xi Jinping, an event that struck many China watchers as extraordinary since Xi only normally meets with heads of state in person. The meeting was covered extensively by state-controlled media.

"California's leading, China's leading," said Gov. Brown after he met with Xi.

"It's true I didn't come to Washington, I came to Beijing. Well, someday I'm going to go to Washington, but not this week."

Gov. Brown has long used his platform as governor to advocate emission reduction policies, both in his state and globally.


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