Sputnik moment: Historic meeting between U.S. and China may spur a clean energy race
Will the new clean technology race pit the U.S. against China competitively, or allow for scientific partnerships?Cross-posted from AlterNet.
From Jan. 19 to 21, President Obama will host Chinese President Hu Jintao for their first bilateral summit this side of the Pacific. According to former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, this “will be the most important top-level United States-Chinese encounter since Deng Xiaoping’s historic trip more than 30 years ago.” While economic and military issues will be on the agenda, a key part of the meeting will be energy. U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has suggested that a Sputnik-like race for clean energy between China and the U.S. may be emerging. If so, how can the U.S. get in the game, given the current political climate in the country?
U.S.-China relations have been rocky over the past two years. At the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, China and the U.S. wound up at a standoff in the summit’s final hours.
Tensions hinge on who should take responsibility for the bulk of the emissions. The U.S. blames China, a growing economy and the world... Read more