Statement by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on China’s Climate Announcements during President Xi Jinping’s State Visit

Chicago, IL—In response to the announcement today by the United States and China on China’s climate-related commitments in the lead-up to the U.N. negotiations in Paris in December, Paulson Institute Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr., issued the following statement. Paulson founded the Strategic & Economic Dialogue with China as Treasury Secretary in 2006. Today, he is Chairman of the Paulson Institute, a non-partisan institution focused on the economic and environmental relationship between the United States and China, including working with China to achieve a more sustainable economic transition.

“I am pleased with China’s announcements today, which demonstrate the country’s serious commitment to addressing climate change, especially through domestic policy changes and actions. As the two largest carbon emitters—and the two largest economies—in the world, China and the U.S. have a responsibility to work together to address the economic risks posed by climate change. Last year, the two countries committed to working together on these issues; today China, in particular, put meat on the bones of that announcement.

“Specifically, China’s promise to commit 20 billion RMB ($3.13 billion) to help developing countries cope with climate impacts that are already being felt around the world aligns with U.S. interests and actions. The United States has itself committed $3 billion toward similar goals. In addition, both countries’ commitments to vehicle and building efficiency standards, and China’s internal promise to cap carbon emissions—including in key heavy industrial sectors like iron and steel—demonstrate leadership in the effort to reduce climate risk. I applaud the Chinese and U.S. governments for these concrete and significant steps to fashion a sustainable economic model for future growth.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a joint announcement by the Paulson Institute and China’s Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs last week of a new U.S.-China Building Energy Efficiency Fund that the Paulson Institute has helped to coordinate. The intent of this initiative is to enable and accelerate the deployment of U.S. technology and expertise in the Chinese market to substantially reduce CO2 and other climate-related emissions, while improving energy efficiency, promoting industrial productivity, encouraging cross-border innovation, and creating green jobs. While the details of the funding mechanism remain to be worked out, leading U.S. and Chinese financial institutions, industrial firms, and real estate companies have begun negotiations about how to structure this new venture.

Additionally, this week, the Paulson Institute released a set of papers outlining specific recommendations for China’s building energy efficiency work, as well as for its national emissions trading program. Efforts to address climate change and promote sustainable urbanization are central to the Paulson Institute’s mission.


About the Paulson Institute: The Paulson Institute is a “think and do” tank that promotes environmental protection and sustainable development in the United States and China, while advancing bilateral economic relations and cross-border investment. Established in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the Institute is committed to the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China work in complementary ways.

The non-partisan, independent Institute works at the nexus of economic and environmental issues in the United States and China. Its programs in China focus on improving climate and air quality, advancing ecological conservation and promoting sustainable cities. The Institute’s Think Tank publishes papers on the most important macroeconomic issues facing China today, energy strategies and issues in U.S.-China relations. The Institute promotes bilateral cross-border investment that will improve U.S.-China relations and help create jobs and works to reduce economic risk from climate change. The Institute is headquartered at the University of Chicago and has offices in Washington and Beijing.