MODERATOR: Okay, everybody. So I think we met a few minutes ago. My name is Nolan Barkhouse. I am the U.S. Embassy spokesman here in Beijing, China. It is my pleasure to welcome Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern back to Beijing. He comes here on a regular basis, and is working on (inaudible) related to climate change.
As we’ve discussed, this will be on the record, and we have about 15 minutes. So, maybe we should get started.
MR. STERN: Okay, thank you very much. Hi to everybody. I will just do a few quick comments at the top, and then we can take whatever questions you have.
We have had quite good meetings here the last couple of days. I think there is a lot of active cooperation going on between the U.S. and China. The joint session that was held today on climate change, I think, was, overall? quite positive. There were a number of different elements to it. There were presentations on domestic policy of each side, there was focus on the link between climate change and air pollution, a lot of focus, as you know, undoubtedly, on the Chinese part, regarding pollution, and Vice Premier Wang Yang, I think, referred to needing — China needing a war on pollution.
Secretary Kerry talked at one point about the importance of taking into account the cost of not acting when you are evaluating the overall costs of (inaudible) mitigation. So those are costs that involve things like health, as well as perhaps extreme weather events and droughts, and so forth. In the analysis of our own (inaudible) rules, I believe the estimate is that we will — that the rules will have a net benefit of something on the order of $90 billion a year. Very significantly countered the avoided health — damages to health from pollution.
Both Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua and I talked about bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and China that was — Secretary Kerry visited China in April of 2013, last year, and on that visit, along with State Councilor Yang, announced the formation of a new Climate Change Working Group, which has become an important body. At the S&ED — so a few months after April, the S&ED last year, five initiatives were launched on things like smart grids and carbon capture and utilization of storage and energy efficiency in heavy-duty vehicles, and the like. And over a not very long period of time, work plans were developed, and a whole host of activities — workshops and study tours and particular specific deliverables — were developed. There were actually eight different projects announced yesterday on — particularly focused on smart grid demonstration projects and the like, and also the CCUS, there was an event on that yesterday.
Secretary Moniz talked about a variety of areas of either actual or potential cooperation with respect to energy. John Holdren — Secretary Kerry asked John Holdren to speak for a few minutes on the science flowing out of the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Reports, as well as the National Climate Assessment in the United States.
And I guess the other thing I would just mention, not from the joint session, but from the day that we spent yesterday — the “we” being me and John Podesta from the White House on the U.S. side, and our team, along with Xie Zhenhua and his team — engaged in quite detailed conversations about the domestic policies of each side, and various ways of (inaudible) planning for the post-2020 period and the actions that we have been taking to limit greenhouse gases, and essentially to develop a target for post-2020.
All of that, by the way, flowed out of an agreement that was reached on a trip that Secretary Kerry did, and I joined him on that trip this past February, where (inaudible) short statement that was released was (inaudible) on, essentially, developing (inaudible) sharing information (inaudible) post-2020 plans to reduce greenhouse gases.
So, in any event, overall I think they were a quite constructive set of conversations the last couple of days, and with a number of deliverables attached. Mostly this is — from my point of view, this is part of an ongoing process, which is a very intensive one with China. And so there we go. I am happy to answer questions.