U.S., China Discuss Energy Security, Environmental Protection

By Jane Morse
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Karen A. Harbert and Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Jeffrey Jarrett are in China to discuss energy cooperation between the United States and China.

In Beijing, Jarrett signed five-year agreement extensions with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology on September 14 to share information in areas critical to improving energy security and environmental protection. (See related article.)

"The U.S. and China are taking a clear leadership position in a worldwide effort to come to practical and constructive terms on the need for energy security and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that stem from global energy use,” Jarrett said.

Jarrett and Vice Minister Shang Yong of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology also signed five-year renewals of existing agreements for extending ongoing cooperation and information-sharing in power systems technology, oil and gas technology, energy and environmental control technologies, and climate science, according to a DOE September 14 news release.

The agreements between the United States and China set out specific areas of activity aimed at improving oil and gas supply, deploying cleaner more efficient energy technologies for coal reserves and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through advanced pollution controls.

An existing agreement on clean fuels technology, which includes coal-to-liquids and hydrogen, was discussed but an extension of that pact was not needed, DOE said.


In Hangzhou, Harbert participated in the second round of talks under the U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue to promote global energy security, protect the environment and encourage economic growth and trade between the nations.

The U.S.-China Energy Policy Dialogue between DOE and China’s National Development and Reform Commission was created in 2004 as a forum to discuss areas for energy cooperation between the two countries. During the dialogue meetings, Harbert and her Chinese counterparts discussed key energy policy issues, such as the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, which covers modernization and energy-efficiency standards, China’s goals under its 11th five-year plan, and other energy efficiency, resource conservation, and renewable energy programs, including development of biofuels in both countries.

Through the dialogue, the two countries will share information on energy security measures, such as strategic petroleum reserves, energy policies and strategies to attract needed investment in infrastructure development and expansion. The dialogue also provides a forum in which to exchange views on a variety of energy issues of mutual concern including the efficacy of market and regulatory measures to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts.

Harbert also traveled to Beijing where she will meet with officials of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology as well as with China’s Atomic Energy Authority.  Harbert will take part in an industry round table with the U.S.-China Business Council.

“Cooperation between our two countries to meet today’s energy challenges will assist in the transformation of how both counties produce and consume energy,” Harbert said. (See related article.)

The full text of the DOE press release is available on the department’s Web site.

For more information, see The United States and China and Environment.