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Further collaboration between US and China on climate change

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World Cement,

Following the meeting of the US-China Climate Change Working Group earlier this week, a report has been released announcing the progress of the group on the five action initiatives decided upon last year and highlighting new areas of collaboration.

The five initiatives include: emissions reduction from heavy-duty and other vehicles; smart grids; carbon capture, utilisation and storage; energy efficiency in buildings and industry; collecting and managing greenhouse gas emissions data – all of which should be of interest to the cement industry. The CCWG has further agreed to work together to enhance policy dialogue and to share information regarding their plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions reductions from heavy-duty and other vehicles

Both countries have agreed to adopt more stringent standards for vehicles to improve air quality and reduce climate impact, with these being in place by the end of 2016. The US plans to implement new ultra-low sulfur (10 ppm) gasoline standards by the end of 2016, while China has agreed to fast-track the implementation of China V fuel quality standards (10 ppm) in three major regions by the end of 2015 and nationwide by the end of 2017. China plans to develop the China VI emission standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles by the end of 2017. Both the US and China are working on ways to expand their green freight initiatives. Various workshops and training sessions have been held and further technical exchanges are planned to look at the use of big data in transportation.

Smart grids

The integration of smart grid technologies and clean, distributed generation sources into electricity delivery infrastructure offers a powerful means of reducing or controlling carbon emissions in both countries. Therefore, both countries are exploring ways to optimize electricity demand and integrate energy efficiency and renewable energies into power grid systems. The two sides plan to undertake four cooperative demonstration projects and set a timeline to finalize a project plan (scope, schedule, milestones, deliverables, and team members and their roles) for each project.

The US and China are progressing toward the long-term goal of collaborating on a plan to deploy state-of-the-art smart grid technology to balance low-carbon energy consumption and supply through a regional grid.

Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS)

There are a handful of CCUS demonstration large-scale plants now under way or under development in the two countries. The United States and China intend to accelerate development and deployment of CCUS technology through joint effort on projects of merit. These efforts will feature commercial CCUS projects and industrial agreements, as well as bilateral government and academia-led efforts that are recognised by both governments.

Some details on projects underway were given in the story ‘China and US sign pacts to curb greenhouse gas emissions’.

Energy efficiency in buildings and industry

The US and China will intensify cooperation on energy efficiency in three initial areas: further development of energy savings performance contracting in China; energy efficiency standards and testing for commercial, residential, and manufacturing buildings; and identifying the top ten energy efficient technologies and best practices for industry.

In-depth policy exchanges on each of these subjects were held at the annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum in June 2014 in Beijing. A white paper has been developed that includes a needs assessment and opportunities analysis for promoting energy savings performance contracting (ESPC). The two countries will now adopt the recommendations and identify high-impact areas of collaboration. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), and key stakeholders are working together to support the implementation of China’s Design Standard for Energy Efficiency of Rural Residential Buildings and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NDRC are promoting the application of energy efficiency measurement tools for energy-saving refurbishment of existing buildings.

Furthermore, the US has joined the China-led Task Group to identify cost-effective and practical measures that can achieve significant energy savings in IPEEC (International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation) member economies.

Collecting and managing greenhouse gas emissions data

The US intends to share expertise and experience from implementing a successful national greenhouse gas reporting program to support similar efforts in China across key industrial source categories.

The United States is supporting NDRC efforts to develop reporting systems in the following sectors: power generation, iron & steel, cement & glass, nonferrous metals, chemicals, aviation, ceramics, oil & gas, mining, and coking.

New action initiatives

  • The US and China will take national actions and promote bilateral cooperation to achieve meaningful progress in phasing down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • The two countries have agreed to include a new initiative of forests in the CCWG in recognition of the importance of forests in mitigating climate change.
  • A further new initiative is a study on boiler efficiency and fuel switching, changing from coal to gas in industrial boilers. A joint study will be carried out to analyse the costs, benefits and technical feasibility of fuel switching in industrial steam and process heating systems.
  • In future, the US and China will look at assisting the least developed countries to address climate change, and further discussed other possible areas for bilateral collaboration.

The full report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the 6th Round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue can be accessed by clicking here

Adapted from full report by

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