18 January 2011

US-China Cleantech: A Call for Cooperation and Healthy Competition

President Barack Obama and Chinese President H...Image via Wikipedia

All eyes will be on Washington when Chinese President Hu Jintao comes to town to meet with President Obama this week.

While the two leaders have much to talk about, including the situation in North Korea, ongoing trade, currency, and human rights issues, we hope they leave room on their agenda for constructive dialogue on cleantech and energy.
The two countries began a collaboration in November 2009 launching the joint US-China Clean Energy Research Center, with financial support to the tune of $150 million over five years coming from both sides.
Yet recent conflicting statements from Obama administration officials demonstrate ambivalence when it comes to US-China relations on cleantech and energy.  
Department of Energy Secretary Chu has called China's cleantech ramp-up our "Sputnik moment"; while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently called for "implementing the agreements on transparency, funding and clean-energy technology."

The Hu-Obama meetings could set the tone for relations.  Let's hope it is more about cooperation and healthy competition than posturing and protectionism.

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