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Putting a price on carbon can be an effective policy to spur innovation, create lasting economic growth, and help the United States achieve its carbon reduction goals.

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米国人が使う「now you’re talking(そうだね)」というあいづちの裏には、「ようやく本気を出したね」という意味が込められている。気候変動対策に本腰を入れるとは、言葉による約束を実行に移すということであり、それも思い切った策でなければならない。

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11月12日、米国と中国は地球温暖化対策で重大発表を行い、両国の新たな目標を明らかにした。オバマ大統領は、米国の温室効果ガス(GHG)排出量を2025年までに2005年水準比26%~28%削減する方針を表明。一方、習近平国家主席は、中国のCO2排出量を2030年前後をピークとして削減し、2030年までに非化石燃料の比率を20%前後まで引き上げる目標を掲げた。気候変動に関する米中間の新たな連携は、歴史的な転換点となる可能性がある

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Comparing the cost of renewable energy options to traditional electricity supply is critical for decision-makers, policy experts, investors, and regulators to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to supply electricity.

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Today at the U.S.-China Symposium on Energy Performance Contracting in Beijing, the Chinese and U.S. governments announced a new pilot program that could reduce Chinese buildings' energy use. The program seeks to build momentum for energy performance contracting (EPC), a renovation model where a building owner can work with a private company to install efficient technologies, and then use the cost savings from reduced energy consumption to pay for the efficiency upgrades. While EPCs are already used regularly in the United States, the pilot project will help expand the model in China as a way to curb emissions and save money.

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A new WRI study finds that there are many win-win opportunities for the United States to reduce emissions and save money for consumers and businesses. Our blog series, Lower Emissions, Brighter Economy, evaluates these opportunities across five key areas—power generation, electricity consumption, passenger vehicles, natural gas systems and hydrofluorocarbons (coming soon) —which together represent 55 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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Oil prices are plummeting, the United States and China made a major joint climate announcement, and renewable energy reached price parity with coal in a growing number of markets. Iconic tech companies—including Google and Apple—are playing a larger role in both renewable energy and home energy efficiency.

Against this backdrop, 2014 is on track to go down as the world’s hottest year ever recorded. Already, the first 10 months of 2014 have been the hottest on record globally. This is a troubling trend.

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The U.S. EPA has proposed standards to limit power sector emissions, which, once adopted, are expected to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 25 percent by 2020. But as we recently noted in our public comment on the proposal, increasingly cost-effective efficiency and renewable energy opportunities mean that the EPA can and should require even greater emissions reductions.

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With China at an economic and environmental crossroad, ongoing cooperation on climate and clean energy with the U.S. can yield significant social and economic rewards for both countries. The benefits of this course can and must go together to tackle climate change and create vibrant economies for the 21st century.

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