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China and USA agree on ‘green’ goals

Global – The US-based Aluminum Association has commended the joint statement by American president Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping which details their plans to ‘strengthen bilateral co-ordination and co-operation, and to promote sustainable development and the transition to green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies’.

Both presidents have expressed intent to address the reality of sustainable practices in the coming years or 2030 at the latest, including China’s goal to reach 50% ‘green’ constructions in new communities by 2020. This is a timeframe that ’emphasises the immediacy of these challenges’, the Aluminum Association argues.

If the US-China mission is implemented successfully, China’s new cap and trade system should provide ‘ample incentives’ for carbon-intensive aluminium smelters in China to be phased out, it is contended. The association adds that China supplied 13% of the world’s aluminium back in 2005 but today is satisfying roughly half of demand.

Currently, China’s tax regime incentivises the export of its surplus, carbon-intensive production which has ‘displaced sustainably-produced and energy-efficient North American aluminium’, the association points out.

The US aluminium industry has long been part of the solution to address ecological concerns in many respects, it says. For one, the increasing rate of recycling is saving energy consumption in the packaging market. Also, car manufacturers are using lightweight, military-grade aluminium to help achieve far greater fuel economy for their fleets.

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