US presses green growth in Asia

May 18, 2011
US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke speaks at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Big Sky, Montana. Warning that the era of cheap fuel was over, the United States on Wednesday called for Pacific Rim economies to knock down trade barriers to spur growth in clean energy.

Warning that the era of cheap fuel was over, the United States on Wednesday called for Pacific Rim economies to knock down trade barriers to spur growth in clean energy.

President Barack Obama's administration, which faces domestic opposition on climate change, is putting a high priority on the environment as the United States this year chairs the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Meeting senior APEC trade officials at the snow-covered ski resort of Big Sky, Montana, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said that millions of green jobs are waiting to be created from the factory floor to the construction sector.

"In the next few decades, world economies will need to rebuild and reinvent virtually every industrial activity -- from power generation and transportation to manufacturing and construction -- all to succeed in an energy environment that looks drastically different from the one that we're used to," Locke said.

"For well over 100 years, much of the world enjoyed two luxuries that helped propel the greatest burst of sustained economic growth in human history.

" were cheap and abundant. And number two: we either didn't know about or didn't care about impact to our planet from caused by burning those fuels," he said. "Those days are over."

But Locke said that clean energy needed entrepreneurs -- and that the had too many barriers to trade.

He pointed to US concerns about lack of protection for intellectual property, along with transportation costs, customs clearance delays and lack of access to financing.

APEC includes rising powers in clean energy including China, which has surpassed the United States as the top investor in even as its keep soaring forward.

Obama's rivals in the Republican Party gained ground in congressional elections last year and are deeply suspicious about action on climate change, with many saying that it would prove too costly at a time of high oil prices and unemployment.

Locke said that clean jobs were real and criticized those who are "deriding green jobs as little more than a marketing tool contrived by environmentalists."

Explore further: Future solar panels

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Under US, Asia-Pacific to focus on green trade

Mar 09, 2011

The United States, taking the helm of the APEC forum, hopes to spur green growth in the Asia-Pacific region by knocking down trade barriers on environmental goods, a senior official has said.

US secretary sees clean energy tie-ups in Indonesia

May 25, 2010

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said on Tuesday the United States was keen to develop clean-energy partnerships with Indonesia, a leading energy producer, ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama.

Nations to seek clean energy cooperation

Jul 19, 2010

The world's top economies will look next week at ways to work together on clean energy, striking a rare note of cooperation amid an impasse in drafting a new climate change treaty.

Green energy meeting riles activists

Jan 10, 2006

A controversial group that promises economic growth while cleaning the environment will emasculate the so-called Kyoto Protocol, environmental groups claim.

Wind, solar becoming cost competitive: Chu

Mar 23, 2011

Clean sources of energy such as wind and solar will be no more expensive than oil and gas projects by the end of the decade, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Future solar panels

8 hours ago

Conventional photovoltaic technology uses large, heavy, opaque, dark silicon panels, but this could soon change. The IK4-Ikerlan research centre is working with the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country ...

Storing solar energy

Sep 01, 2014

A research project conducted by Leclanché S.A., the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Romande Energie and with the financial support of the Canton of Vaud could bring a real added value in ...

Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection

Sep 01, 2014

Some 40 scientists and technicians from around the world will descend on Jordan in November to take part in a simulated on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear test site on the banks of the Dead Sea.

User comments : 0