WASHINGTON The United States will press forward
with a multibillion-dollar "clean technology fund" this year to
help China and other developing countries finance advanced
technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions and other
pollutants, a top Treasury official said on Monday.
The fund aims to "put a dent in the funding gap" between
more expensive advanced technology that reduces pollution and
energy use and older, cheaper technology, David McCormick,
Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs, said in
prepared remarks at a leadership conference in La Jolla,
"We have already held discussions with potential donors
with this fund and we look forward to establishing it later
this year," McCormick said, adding that the United States will
be one of the lead donors.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson first proposed the a fund
for cleaner power generation and industrial technologies last
year as part of plans to bring China, India and other major
emerging economies into a comprehensive framework to limit
emissions that contribute to global warming.
McCormick said many developing countries prefer to use the
lowest-cost alternatives to stretch their resources in
developing power and industrial infrastructure, and this often
means using older, dirtier technology.
He said that through 2030 it may cost developing countries
an additional $30 billion to switch to cleaner technology.
"That's $30 billion these countries need for technologies
that are available today to fuel growth in an environmentally
friendly way," McCormick said.
He said in addition to seeking more rapid deployment of
clean technologies, the fund would help stimulate
private-sector capital by making challenging clean energy
projects more attractive investments and would help encourage
emerging economy governments to adopt more environmentally
McCormick said China's rapid economic growth "has come at a
terrible cost to its air, water and soil." He said China has 16
of the world's 20 most polluted cities.
The Treasury official said it was in the United States'
national interest to help China address its environmental
challenges, and said the Bush administration was working to do
so through the semiannual "strategic economic dialogue" talks
Environmental cooperation between the two countries is
expected to lead to more academic exchanges and
commercialization of alternative energy sources, he said,
adding that the United states aspires to eliminate trade
barriers for environmental goods and services.
A cabinet-level U.S.-China environmental working group is
being set up to put into effect a 10-year environmental
cooperation plan agreed in December, he said.
McCormick's remarks did not mention anything regarding the
foreign exchange value of China's yuan currency. The Treasury
has for a long time put pressure on Beijing to allow its
currency to rise in value more quickly.
(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis)