Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP)Paula J. Dobriansky,
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Remarks to the GLOBE Washington Legislators Forum
February 15, 2007
Thank you, and good morning. I would like to thank Elliot Morley, Adam Mathews, and the team at GLOBE International for all of their efforts in organizing this Forum.
I am delighted to address such a distinguished group of legislators. And I am especially pleased to have this opportunity to discuss the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, or APP, as it is known.
Before I discuss the details of the APP, I'd like to say a few words about U.S. climate change policy and the concrete steps we are taking to address what President Bush has called "the serious challenge of global climate change."
We share with other countries the goals of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and introducing new, cleaner technologies and alternative, cleaner-burning fuels. We are strongly committed to the objectives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Our policy is a mix of mandatory, voluntary, and tax-incentive measures to address climate change. We believe climate policy should be science-based, and in that regard, we welcomed the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report.
Since 2001, we have committed $29 billion in strategic research and development initiatives. This year, we will spend almost $4 billion to advance technologies that will help us combat climate change.
Addressing climate change requires an international effort, and since 2002, the U.S. Government has initiated a number of multilateral partnerships. Some examples include:
- Pioneering hydrogen as a clean energy carrier, through the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy;
- Developing cost-effective technologies to capture and store carbon emissions from fossil fuels under the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum;
- Bringing cost-effective, energy-producing methane capture and use technologies to developing countries through the Methane-to-Markets Partnership;
- Leading nuclear technology research and development through the Generation IV International Forum and the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
- Participating in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, which is engaged in practical efforts--from policy and regulatory aspects to financing--to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is a key multilateral partnership. It is an innovative, integrated effort that is delivering real results in addressing climate change. Launched in early 2006, the APP is a voluntary collaboration among six nations: Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. Those countries have come together specifically in this Partnership to pursue the integrated goals of advancing energy security, fostering economic growth, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing air pollution. The six Partner nations seek to achieve these goals through the development, deployment, and commercialization of clean energy technologies. The Partnership and its initiatives also seek to assist in alleviating poverty and improving human health.
The APP generates results where they matter most: in the countries that are the world's major emitters of greenhouse gases. The six Partnership nations together account for about half of the world's economic output, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. That the Partnership involves China and India is especially important. Developing countries' emissions are forecast to surpass emissions of developed countries in a matter of years, not decades. Consequently, the APP's charter calls for addressing energy security and climate change in a manner complementary to each country's economic development.
Another innovative and particularly important aspect of the Asia-Pacific Partnership is that it is a public-private partnership, bringing together not just the government and private sector within each country but also among them. That cross-cutting approach advances the Partnership's goals through cooperative design and implementation of tangible, effective projects. The APP has eight task forces, each of which includes both public and private sector experts. The task forces address specific sectors: aluminum; buildings and appliances; cement; cleaner fossil energy; coal mining; renewable energy and distributed generation; power generation and transmission; and steel.
Within six months, the APP's public and private partners launched eight action plans and one hundred projects which have a direct impact on the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Since the roll-out of the action plans on October 31st, the projects have moved forward expeditiously. I'd like to give a few examples.
The APP helped provide technical support to China to develop a voluntary energy efficiency label similar to ENERGY STAR, a highly successful U.S. program that provides consumers information about the energy and cost savings of more efficient appliances. One new product is expected to reduce 17.7 million tons of carbon dioxide-the equivalent of making 3 million cars emissions-free.
Recently, a U.S. grant facilitated a commercial transaction between Caterpillar and a Chinese company, Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Coal Mining Group, to install the largest coal mine methane power facility in the world. The Partnership helped leverage a small initial investment from the United States into over $120 million of private-sector investment. Once the project is completed, an estimated 40 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions will be avoided over a 20-year period.
The Coal Mining Task Force is working in China and India to share coal-cleaning procedures that can remove 40-50% of the sulfur in coal. That can reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 20-25% at minimal cost, improving public health and reducing acid rain.
Last year, American Electric Power hosted over 100 Australian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean power plant engineers at its domestic U.S. facilities to address methods to improve the efficiency of coal-fired generation plants-steps that can be taken now-and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Such knowledge-sharing is critical. Simple best-practice improvements can increase efficiency over 1.5 percent. Significantly, a 1.5 percent efficiency improvement could reduce CO2 emissions in India alone by over 10 million tons per year. Southern Company hosted the same engineers to discuss its efforts on Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology-that is zero emissions coal-fired generation technology. Widespread use of the IGCC technology would produce dramatic emission results.
In a project co-sponsored by General Electric, the Partnership is helping to deliver cleaner energy based on local fuel sources in rural parts of India and China by developing biomass gasifiers. Additionally, a reverse trade mission from India facilitated $12 million of investment in renewable energy technologies.
Private sector involvement is key to selecting and delivering on practical and innovative projects that promote near-term results. Government also has an important role to play in encouraging a more favorable investment environment and removing barriers to clean, more efficient technology. In order to promote institutional reforms, Task Forces are identifying both market and non-market barriers to implementing cleaner, more efficient technologies and practices.
The APP is one of a number of approaches we pursue to address climate change and reach our common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. We look forward to working with many of you through our international partnerships to develop solutions that will reduce greenhouse gases in the context of economic growth and development. Again, I thank GLOBE International for inviting me today.
Released on February 22, 2007