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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Washington, DC
March 31, 2008

U.S. Actions to Address: Energy Security, Clean Development, and Climate Change

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Climate change and energy security pose serious interlinked challenges, the scale and scope of which will require a global response as well as national actions. The world community must slow, stop, and reverse greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a way that promotes sustainable economic growth, increases energy security, and helps nations deliver greater prosperity for their people.

The December 2007 UN climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia opened a critical new chapter in climate diplomacy. The United States supports the Bali Action Plan. We are committed to working under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to develop a post-2012 climate regime that is environmentally effective and economically sustainable. The United States is prepared to enter into binding international commitments to reduce GHG emissions as part of a global agreement in which all major economies similarly undertake binding international commitments. We recognize that the content of these commitments will depend on each country’s circumstances and capabilities.

International Leadership – Recent Initiatives:

Major Economies Process on Energy Security and Climate Change: The United States initiated a series of meetings that brings 17 of the world's major economies together to reinforce and accelerate global efforts under the UNFCCC in order to support and contribute to a global agreement under the Convention by 2009.

International Clean Technology Fund: The United States has committed to provide $2 billion to a new international clean technology fund to help developing nations harness the power of clean energy technologies. The Fund would be administered by the World Bank, but would work through a broad range of Multilateral Development Banks, including their private sector arms. In developing the Fund, we are cooperating closely with the United Kingdom and Japan, together with a broad set of potential donors and stakeholders, including our G8 partners. The Fund aims to stimulate and leverage private sector investment in clean technology to support developing country actions limiting GHG emissions. We believe countries seeking access to the Fund should be undertaking credible national plans to limit GHGs and have those plans reflected in a post-2012 international climate change arrangement.

Proposal on climate friendly environmental goods and services: To promote the widespread adoption of affordable clean technologies in the developing world, the United States recently joined the European Union in submitting a groundbreaking proposal in the World Trade Organization for eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services. A recent World Bank study on climate and clean energy technologies suggests that removing tariff and non-tariff barriers could increase trade in key technologies, thereby increasing their diffusion, by 7-14 percent.

Washington International Renewable Energy Conference: Building on successful conferences in Bonn in 2004 and Beijing in 2005, the United States hosted the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) March 4-6, 2008. More than 3,000 delegates from 113 countries joined over 4,000 private sector representatives in an unprecedented gathering focused on developing and deploying renewable energy, promoting sustainable development, and reducing GHG emissions. More than 100 voluntary pledges in the Washington International Action Plan will result in increased renewable energy use.

Innovative International Partnerships: The United States continues to pursue a range of collaborative, public-private partnerships that increase global capacity to reduce GHG emissions, improve energy security and cut harmful air pollution. In addition to our 15 bilateral and regional climate change partnerships launched since 2002, the United States is working in partnership on a wide array of strategies to reduce GHG emissions, including through technologies such as hydrogen fuel, carbon sequestration, and cleaner more efficient nuclear technologies. Results include:

  • The Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M): With 24 partner nations and the European Commission, and an extensive project network of over 600 members, M2M could recover up to 180 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually by 2015.
  • The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP): This initiative engages the governments and private sectors of the seven partner nations (Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United States) to enhance capacity and deployment of clean energy technologies and address their energy, clean development, and climate goals. Examples of APP successes include:
    • Developed and initiated new Energy Efficiency labels used in China, similar to those in the U.S. ENERGY STAR program - are expected to encourage Chinese consumers to use more energy efficient appliances. This APP-coordinated activity, currently focusing on just one pilot consumer product, television set-top boxes, is projected to bring about an annual carbon emission reduction of 17.7 million tons of CO2, the equivalent of removing three million cars from the road.
    • Solar Turbines, an APP private sector partner, has worked with Chinese partners to identify and setup units that provide 35 megawatts of clean energy technology to the coking industry in China. Initial projections indicate an annual savings of approximately 410,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent when all units are operational.

Domestic Action

Decline in emissions growth From 2000-2006, the population of the United States grew by 5.8 percent (16.5 million people) and GDP grew by 15 percent (about $1.5 trillion) while our GHG emissions growth was only 0.3 percent; comparable to the results of many other developed nations.

Ambitious near term domestic measuresWe have a diverse portfolio of policy measures including dozens of mandatory, incentive-based, and voluntary programs for our domestic emissionsThe Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 introduced substantial new mandatory domestic programs to address energy security and climate change. Taken together, these programs will reduce projected GHG emissions by an estimated six billion metric tons by 2030. The policies embodied in this Act and other programs represent a bipartisan consensus in the United States, and include:

  • Renewable fuels - 36 billion gallons or roughly 15 percent of fuel supply by 2022
  • Vehicle Fuel Economy - 40 percent improvement to 35 mpg (miles per gallon) by 2020
  • Lighting Efficiency - 25 to 30 percent improvement by 2012-2014, 70 percent by 2020
  • Appliance Efficiency – at least 45 new appliance efficiency standards
  • Federal Government Operations - 30 percent efficiency improvement and 20 percent renewable fuel use by 2015
  • Building Codes - Federal government developing model codes to improve building efficiency by 30 percent
  • Accelerated Phaseout of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, a powerful greenhouse gases
  • ENERGY STAR program reduced emissions by 135 MMTCO2E in 2008
  • Domestic Methane Programs reduced 2006 methane emissions to 8% below 1990 levels

Unmatched investments in science and technology: The President has devoted nearly $45 billion to climate change since 2001 for climate-related science, technology, observations, international assistance and incentive programs and he has requested $8.6 billion more in FY2009. U.S. investments in energy technology research have increased from $1.7 billion in 2001 to over $4 billion per year, and, as a result of the 2005 Energy Bill and FY08 appropriations, there is now $42.5 billion available for federal loan guarantees to promote the deployment in the United States of clean energy technology.

Additional information about the U.S. approach to climate change is available at: http://www.state.gov/g/oes/climate.



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