The U.S. Has Been Lazy About its China Ties, But Now Is The Time to Build on Gains of the Past Five Years
Workers install solar panels outside of the city of Tianjin.
As the governments of the United States and China meet in Beijing this week for the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), one area worth watching closely is clean energy and climate change cooperation. While this topic may seem to have fallen off the top of the list of bilateral priorities since the big push in 2009, it is likely to be back in the spotlight this month.
The next big deadline for negotiating a global climate treaty—U.N.-led talks in Paris in 2015—now looms large. On the surface little seems to have changed since the last time international climate negotiations received serious global attention, in Copenhagen in 2009. China and the United States are still the big global emitters, and the politics of carbon mitigation remain complex. However, three key dynamics have shifted which could directly influence the tenor of next year’s talks in Paris.
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