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WIPP Participates in White House Asia Environment Call

Tuesday, December 1, 2009  
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White House Asia Environment Conference Call

November 17, 2009 - 7:30PM EST

·         Subject: White House officials currently traveling in Asia participated in the conference call and provided a read-out on energy and environmental meetings in Asia and discussed announcements that have been made.

·         Featured Speakers: Energy Secretary Chu, Commerce Secretary Locke

·         Announcements:

o   President Obama and President Hu Jintao announced:

§  Creation of U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center.  Initial research priorities will be:

·         Energy efficient buildings

·         Clean vehicles

·         Clean coal (including carbon capture and storage)

§  Launch of US-China Electric Vehicles Initiative

§  Launch of joint plan on energy efficiency

·         To develop relevant building codes

·         To train building inspectors

·         Will mean that we have common standards

·         The U.S. and China signed several memorandums of understanding:

o   These could lead to billions of dollars in contracts for U.S. companies.

o   The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment.

o   These memorandums will create jobs in America.

o   The U.S. was able to get the Chinese to remove their barriers with respect to wind farms.  This will benefit American companies.

·         Other Notes:

o   Both the U.S. and China agree that nuclear needs to be a part of the energy solution. 

o   The U.S. is greatly encouraged by how far China has come.  There is recognition within the Chinese government that they can’t continue business as usual.  They also say that their use of coal is unsustainable.

o   Cat Shrier asked a question during the Q&A portion of the call.  Question: Have the U.S.-China discussions included consideration of the nexus between water and energy?

§  Answer: This was not discussed, but it is on the minds of the Americans and the Chinese.  China is deeply concerned about the water from melting glaciers and the fact that the Yellow River is starting to run dry in the summer.  They will be dealing with this in the future.            

o   The speakers would not elaborate on the President’s announcement that any agreement in Copenhagen should take immediate operational effect.    

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