U.S. Launches Cleantech Fund…For the Other Guys

green globe with gridThe U.S. Treasury Department will create a multi-billion dollar clean technology fund for other nations.

Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs, David McCormick, said that it may cost developing countries an additional $30 billion to transition from the dirty fuels of the past to cleaner technologies that cut emissions, and this fund will help bridge that gap. Emerging economies like China and India will be the beneficiaries.

The fund will also help stimulate private sector capital by making clean energy projects more attractive to investors and encouraging supportive government policies. McCormick pointed out that it’s in the U.S.’s national interest to help China address global warming and that the Bush administration is using a “strategic economic dialogue” with Beijing to accomplish that.

While the U.S. will be a primary donor, other nations may contribute to the fund, which should be in place later this year. It’s part of a broader plan to bring developing nations into a framework to limit global warming emissions.

United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer said this about the cleantech fund:

This clean technology fund is perhaps a Marshall Plan on climate change beginning to emerge where we stop worrying about the short term woes and focus much more on taking a bold step forward … towards a clean future.

Does it make sense for the U.S. to be pouring billions into other nations, when we have so far to go here at home? Or does a rising tide lift all ships?

Reuters UK

  1. Laura

    I’d like to see data on how many power plants are planned here vs. India and China. I bet they’re building a lot more in the next few years, so it really makes sense to put the money where it can have the greatest impact. After all, climate change is a global problem.

  2. William Brent

    I moderated a panel on “cleaner coal” in December (I also lived in China for 15 years), and the numbers are pretty staggering. China put 90,000 megawatts of new coal-fired capacity online in 2006 (that’s two Californias), and its dirty coal. China gets 70% of its electricity from coal today, and by 2050 it will still be 50%… there’s more on my blog if you’re interested, but these types of intitiatives are very much needed. That said, more government funding of R&D and commercialization in the US would also be nice.

  3. Timothy B. Hurst

    We absolutely need to do what we can to help developing countries, as long as we do not bind that help to the World Bank or IMF which both have a tendency to create more problems.

    In the State of the Union last night, Pres. Bush demanded that we cannot let large economies (read: China, India) get a ‘free ride’ when it comes to enacting global climate change policies. But didn’t the US get a ‘free ride’ for 150 years?

  4. Uncle B

    Good effort to save environment which needs all the help it can get. Everyone profits from clean air, even Americans! A baby-step for Americans in technology is a milestone for others,for verification, compare Nano from India with a Mustang! Thank you America

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