California governor highlights energy efficiency in Tsinghua University speech

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivers a speech on energy innovation at China's Tsinghua University on Thursday. Photo: Ding Yi/Sino-US.com

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California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered a 20-minute speech on energy innovation at Tsinghua University on Thursday, calling for joint efforts to deal with environmental issues.

"We are in one world. We got one big problem and we all have to work on it. And what’s beautiful and exciting about climate change is no one group can solve the problem, not the United States, not California, not Japan, not China. We all have to do it," said Brown in his speech at the top Chinese university.

The governor said that he was happy to see that California is at the forefront in many respects (about environmental protection), but cautioned that the existing challenges were so overwhelming that it had to continuously do more.

In his remarks, Brown boasted the energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances California adopted more than 30 years ago, which he said has helped the state save over $50 billion and dramatically lower carbon emissions over the period.

In June 2012, The California Energy Commission updated the standards for the energy efficiency of buildings in 2013, which will reduce energy consumed in heating, cooling and lighting by 25 percent and about 30 percent in commercial structures.

The new standards are the latest in the triennial revisions under the 34-year-old law that has made California buildings and appliances the most efficient in the US.

Brown emphasized that the countries that have taken the lead in the development of low-carbon fuel technologies would be the winners, and that California could not do it alone without partners like China.

Brown refuted people who satirized 30 years ago that California's energy efficiency standards and environmental protection rules would smother its economic growth by citing the amazing and irrefutable increase in personal incomes in the state.

"With the rules, with environmental investments, with energy (efficiency) standards, we are actually creating wealth and a better society. So, I know China has many (energy) issues, you have so much wealth and you have so many poor people who haven’t enjoyed it," said Brown in his remarks.

The speech came after Brown and China's Ministry of Environmental Protection signed an agreement to strengthen and coordinate efforts to improve air quality. It is the first pact of its kind inked between an American state and an independent country.

The agreement encourages joint efforts to protect public health, promote clean and efficient energy, protect the environment and natural resources, and supports sustained economic growth.

Under the agreement, California and Chinese officials will share information on the structure and design of regulatory institutions that enforce pollution laws and rules, including California’s network of regional air quality management districts.

An attendee takes photos when California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivers a speech at Tsinghua University on Thursday. Photo: Ding Yi/Sino-US.com

 

An attendee takes notes when California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivers a speech at Tsinghua University on Thursday. Photo: Ding Yi/Sino-US.com

 

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