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Nudge China and India on energy

Author: Charles D. Ferguson, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Science and Technology
April 28, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

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Gov. Schwarzenegger gets it. Wal-Mart gets it. But does President Bush get it? What the governor of the richest state in the country and Wal-Mart, one of the largest corporations in the world, get is that there is money to be made and global good to be done by increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases.

In terms of climate change and energy use, the fate of the world depends primarily on three countries: China, India and the United States. Without greater cooperation soon among them to counter climate change, the economic cost from environmental damage will accelerate and could lead to confrontation among these countries.

Recent efforts at the state and corporate levels, however, could point the way forward. In November 2005, during an official visit to China, Schwarzenegger made the promotion of energy efficiencies a top priority. Paving the way for the governor’s visit, a leading team of California energy experts worked with Chinese counterparts to identify several ways in which China could save money by investing in energy-efficient practices.

Their advice could save Jiangsu Province from having to build 17 (300 MW) power plants during the next 10 years. Schwarzenegger declared that partnership “the model of U.S.-China energy cooperation in the future,” as reported by OnEarth magazine.

This November, Schwarzenegger will make an official visit to India to promote business interests. While the agenda is still being worked out, the governor should take advantage of the opportunity to form an energy partnership with the world’s second most populous country.

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