US/China Research; Hong Kong Air Pollution

On March 29th, the U.S. Energy Secretary announced an availability of $37.5 million in U.S. money was going to go to support of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center.  This money will be matched by “grantees” (I’m not entirely sure what that means) to make a total of $75 million.  This money is going to go to supporting research into “advancing technologies for building energy efficiency, clean coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles.”

This partnership is purportedly beneficial for all that we and the China can learn from each other.  This partnership was first announced officially back in November, when President Obama went to Beijing.  The U.S. government money is supposedly only going to fund research done in the U.S. facilities, which strikes me as a bit strange.  If this is supposed to be a partnership, should the funds not also be shared?

This joint venture is interesting, given the recent reports of record air pollution in Hong Kong.  The air pollution in Hong Kong in late March registered at above 500 on the government’s pollution index, more than 12 times the recommended levels by the World Health Organization.  Though this level is not the norm these days in the area, the average levels of pollution in Hong Kong are still well above recommended numbers.

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