A delegation from Wyoming had front row seats at the Low Carbon Development Forum on Wednesday in China’s main coal producing province.
Hundreds attended the summit in Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi province. The event largely focused on the stated theme: "low carbon development of a high carbon resource." In other words, how to clean up coal. Mark Northam, director of the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources was one of a handful to speak at the opening ceremony. David Wendt, of the Jackson Hole Center of Global Affairs along with two others from Wyoming spoke at the sub-forum that followed. Talk of air pollution, climate change and, of course, economic development were high on the Chinese agenda.
Wyoming Senator Michael Von Flatern said that for Wyoming and other coal producing states, figuring out how to remove carbon from coal emissions is the key.
“And by doing that, we will keep coal viable. We will keep Gillette, Wyoming going. We’ll keep the state’s $1.2 billion dollars a year in income still there," Von Flatern said.
The Low Carbon Forum in China comes in advance of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington DC later this month. There, the leaders of the world's two biggest carbon polluting countries plan to discuss options for cutting emissions.