CCEI Commends U.S.-China Climate and Innovation Agreement

November 12, 2014

WASHINGTON – (November 12, 2014) The Center for Clean Energy (CCEI) commends the United States and China’s joint agreement to advance more ambitious carbon reductions through 2030. The announcement opens the door to more meaningful, innovation-based international climate negotiations, set to conclude in Paris at the end of 2015.

Most importantly, the agreement shows prioritization by both the United States and China to expand collaborative investments in clean energy innovation through joint carbon capture and sequestration pilot projects, smart grid projects, and the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). Increasing investments in international demonstration projects and research collaborations are vital for reducing costs and improving performance of zero-carbon energy technology options, which are imperative to successfully transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy without hurting the global economy.

“This announcement is a major step forward in international climate negotiations, not necessarily because of the top-line carbon cuts, but because of the underlying agreement to strengthen collaboration on clean energy innovation,” says Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of CCEI, an affiliate research institute of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). “The agreement makes clear that advancing clean energy innovation and making bolder cuts in carbon come hand in hand. It’s a model for how the global community should engage climate negotiations in 2015.”

The announcement follows similar principles described in Beyond 2015: An Innovation-Based Framework For Global Climate Policy, a 2014 policy report authored by CCEI. It proposed a series of recommendations designed to create an international climate agreement that drives technological innovation, grows the global economy, and expands energy access.

“This announcement doesn’t guarantee a successful global climate treaty, nor does it advance clean energy innovation to where we need it to be to address climate change. However, it does potentially represent the start of more impactful climate negotiations that make innovation a core tenet,” adds Stepp.

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.