Asia-Pacific Partnership Countries Endorse Clean-Energy Projects
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington – The United States and its five partner countries in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate have endorsed nearly 100 individual projects for meeting energy and environmental goals, U.S. officials announced October 31.
At an international gathering in Ohio of 100 power industry executives and engineers from partner countries, Paula Dobriansky, U.S. under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs, said the projects represent a first step in creating investment opportunities, building local capacity and removing barriers to clean energy technologies.
Also at the meeting, Assistant Energy Secretary Jeffrey Jarrett discussed the Energy Department's decision to fund $450 million over 10 years to support U.S. tests designed to advance carbon sequestration technologies. (See related article.)
Carbon sequestration is a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture-and-storage process that can help take excess, human-generated greenhouse gas CO2 – a driver of climate change – out of the atmosphere. The tests will determine if the large-scale CO2 capture and long-term storage can be done safely and economically.
The APP is a public-private initiative involving six partner nations – Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States – and private-sector partners to meet goals for energy security, air pollution reduction and climate change in ways that promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. (See related article.)
“For the United States,” Dobriansky said, “the Asia-Pacific Partnership represents a new level of engagement with key countries on the fundamentally important issues of energy and environment.”
The weeklong meeting, organized and hosted by American Electric Power, will focus on ways to improve the efficiency of coal-fired generation and activities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollutants.
Participants will visit power plants to see how technological improvements have been implemented in the United States to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
U.S. experts from government agencies and the private sector have worked since April with APP counterparts to develop a work plan focused on action-oriented, practical approaches to meeting energy and environmental goals in an integrated way.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT GOALS
The 98 projects span the most energy-intensive sectors of each partner’s economy – power generation, steel, cement, aluminum, mining and buildings and appliances.
The projects focus on sharing best practices; identifying legal, regulatory and market barriers; and contributing to research and development and demonstration programs.
In this effort, the partners will promote ways to make power plants run more efficiently; identify opportunities for reducing powerful non-CO2 gas emissions in aluminum production processes; advance deployment of solar power, hydro and other renewable technologies; reduce air emissions from coal mining and cement production; and build greener buildings and appliances.
Together, the APP nations account for about half of the world’s economy, population, energy use and CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
The partners, Dobriansky said, “are joined by a common philosophy that economic growth and environmental protection go hand in hand – that economic growth is the engine that drives investments in cleaner technology, and that economic prosperity is a prerequisite for clean development.”
A unique aspect of the APP – the most significant public-private partnership the United States has established at the international level – is that it works with the private sector to identify energy and environmental solutions.
“Today, in Columbus, Ohio,” Dobriansky said October 31, “we are meeting with American Electric Power and close to 100 power plant executives and engineers from the six partners to address methods to improve efficiency of coal-fired generation plants and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution.”
The gathering in Ohio, she said, exemplifies the leadership role that businesses can play in identifying innovative opportunities for cleaner and more efficient economic growth.
The partnership was announced in July 2005 and held its inaugural meeting in Sydney, Australia, in January. (See related article.)
Text of the announcement of the partnership implementation phase is available on the State Department Web site.
For more information on U.S. policies, see Environment.
More information about the Asia Pacific Partnership is available at the organization’s Web site.