US's Paulson Sees More China Environment Talks
Paulson told reporters on a visit to Peru that a key focus for such discussions is clean coal technology that could help slow the rapid growth of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from China's power generation sector.
"This is a key part of our dialogue and I think it will be increasingly clear to you," Paulson said.
The dialogue was launched in December to bring together top US and Chinese economic and finance officials, partly as a means to persuade Beijing to be more flexible in the valuation of its currency, the yuan .
But Paulson has also used the dialogue as a forum for promoting liberalization of China's financial services sector to open it to more foreign competition.
He said China in 2009 will produce more greenhouse gas and carbon emissions than any other economy and is the only one where the growth in such emissions is exceeding the nation's overall economic growth. Much of that is due to coal-burning power plants.
US President George W. Bush has taken a particular interest in improving the health of China's environment.
"Whenever I talk with him about the strategic economic dialogue in China, he pushes me pretty hard in terms of getting some results there (on the environment)," he said.
But Paulson also said that economic growth, globally, was important to sustaining the environment. Poorer countries that fall on hard times economically tend to put more pressure on their environments, he said.