This section outlines a number of key aspects to the problem concerning China’s energy situation and, specifically, its need to meet the growing demand for energy in light of its expanding economy and rapid urbanization.
Bilateral cooperation: China and the U.S. have a critical role to play in combating global climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity. The seriousness of the challenge calls upon the two sides to work constructively together for the common good (whitehouse.gov).
In fact, in 2014 the U.S. and China signed the Joint Announcement on Climate Change. In this unprecedented agreement, China agreed to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and make best efforts to peak earlier and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. The two sides intend to continue strengthening their policy dialogue and practical cooperation.
Improving global access to energy-efficient products: Implementing policies and programs that promote reduction in energy consumption can help build a market in China for energy-efficient products (such as household appliances, commercial heating and cooling units, and industrial motors). This can result in greater access, and reduced prices, for such products worldwide, leading to global reductions in energy consumption and environmental damage.
Growing demand for expertise and technology from overseas: Acting on the environmental challenges, the Chinese government has initiated an aggressive combination of codes, laws and financial incentives to curb rising energy consumption, CO2 emissions and pollution. These measures are driving the tremendous growth in China’s energy efficiency market (Analysis of the Chinese Market for Building Energy Efficiency, 2014). However, there is a need for external know-how to complement China’s domestic capacity in order to achieve the government’s ambitious goals. This is generating unprecedented opportunities for U.S. businesses with expertise in this arena.
Great potential for environmental improvement: China is at a pivotal moment where it could strengthen its environmental stewardship by advancing key energy and environmental policies. In fact, if China were to meet just 1/10 of its incremental electricity requirements with efficiency measures, a relatively modest target, it could avoid an average of 262 million metric tons/year of carbon emissions over the next five years.