China’s interest in clean energy is real, but it’s secondary to its interest in economic development, said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, who spoke at the Asia Society in New York Monday night.
We weren’t in attendence, but Grist was:
“Any quantitatively realistic path for a fast-growing China will mean a tremendous reliance on coal,” he said. “They will have to use growing amounts of coal for decades to come.”
That leaves the U.S. with no choice but to develop and use CCS technology, despite the fact that it’s never been successfully implemented, he said. Renewable energy sources and improvements in efficiency won’t come close to meeting the world’s growing energy demand, he said.
“There’s no quantitative way to get this right without the nuclear industry playing a really large role,” he said. “It’s not a happy thought, but it’s unavoidable.”
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