U.S. and China to discuss global warming

April 18, 2008 7:54:02 AM PDT
A who's who of American and Chinese environmental leaders are coming to San Francisco today to start a critical dialogue about global warming. The U.S. China Green Energy Conference is a one day event, but it's hoped the relationships forged today create a future of environmental problem solving.

If they gave medals for pollution at the Beijing Olympic Games this summer, the U.S. and China would be all alone battling for the gold. That's why today's workshop, in San Francisco, will bring together clean energy policymakers, researchers, business people and investors from the two countries.

According to Mark Levine, leader of the China Energy Group from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, there will be three areas of discussion; one, the financial aspects of greening.

"A very great interest in the Silicon Valley and I guess San Francisco venture capital community, they are attending the conference," said Mark Levine, leader, China Energy Group.

Zhou Dadi is energy advisor to China Premier Wen Jya-Bau. China is already working to reduce its dependence on coal by using more natural gas and plans to buy U.S. designed generation three nuclear reactors and build 40 new plants in the next 15 years.

"We need better renewable technology and for example even for nuclear," said Zhou Dadi, advisor to Premier Jiabao.

"Is nuclear a big part of China's future?" asked ABC7's Terry McSweeney.

"Yes," said Dadi.

But to go greener, China wants some help from the American taxpayer.

"We have so many challenges; we can not only take up only one thing. So if you want to take more attention to these things, then we need additional help," said Dadi.

Dadi says the U.S. assistance would help the U.S. avoid the far greater cost of global warming.

Levine says don't panic, China probably won't need all that much money and what they need the most, won't cost us a cent.

"The areas where the Chinese need help is in creating institutions, having markets work better, having policies that work effectively - the sort of soft areas," said Mark Levine.

Another component of the conference is education - more exchanging of grad students, UC Berkeley is already doing it. Levine wants to bring some of them to work with him at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

"Then you have gone beyond individual education and you're actually educating for certain societal goals," said Mark Levine.

Today's conference is not expected to produce any sensational agreements - it's more of a laying of the groundwork for a much bigger conference in Beijing in November.


Load Comments