STATEMENT: Andrew Light and Julian L. Wong on U.S.-China Joint Statement on Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment

United States and China announce comprehensive plan for climate change cooperation that is much more ambitious than anticipated

"We are excited about the announcements this morning in Beijing of a comprehensive plan for U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy and climate change. The overall plan is much more ambitious than we had anticipated and contains directives to create various institutions and programs addressing a wide array of cooperation on clean-energy technologies and capacity building, including helping China create a robust, transparent, and accurate inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are also gratified to see President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao agree on a common approach to achieve a successful outcome in international climate negotiations, resolve to ‘take significant mitigation actions … and stand behind these commitments,’ and ‘provide for full transparency with respect to the implementation of mitigation measures and provision of financial, technology, and capacity-building support.’

"Taken together, these commitments and statements represent an important step toward agreeing on a protocol for accurate accounting and verification of China’s policies for achieving the necessary emissions reductions that science requires.

"The announcements also suggest that the United States and China are on the same page when it comes to both the necessity of aggressively moving forward on an affirmative agenda to reduce carbon pollution and create millions of new clean-energy jobs. The agreement contains concrete measures for sustained and meaningful collaboration and demonstrates that the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases are prepared to move beyond the tired narrative of developed versus developing country responsibilities on climate action toward a more ‘positive, cooperative, and comprehensive‘ relationship on clean energy and climate change.

"We hope that the upcoming United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen will follow this example and focus as much on bottom-up technological strategies for achieving real reductions in emissions as it will on top-down targets for carbon caps."

See also:

U.S.-China joint statement on climate change

Joint press statement of President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao from Beijing, November 17, 2009

U.S. Department of Energy press release on U.S.-China Clean Energy Announcements, November 17, 2009

Julian L. Wong and Andrew Light are both available for comment today. To speak with them, please contact Suzi Emmerling at or 202-481-8224.