In advance of Chinese President Xi's upcoming visit to Washington DC, researchers from the University of Wyoming and advocates for low carbon technology are in China this week. Members of the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs are meeting with local officials and power company executives in Shanxi, China's main coal producing province.
David Wendt heads up the Jackson Hole Center For Global Affairs which has been coordinating similar trips for over a decade. Wendt says both Wyoming and China would benefit from collaborating on technologies like coal conversion and carbon capture.
"The goal is to explore common interests between Wyoming and Shanxi, China, as the two largest coal producing states or provinces and the world's two largest carbon emitting countries," Wendt said. "So we're here to learn, we're here to share information and we're here to explore opportunities for cooperation in those areas in a challenge which neither of us can perhaps do separately but both of us have to do together."
Cost is a major barrier to carbon capture technology which is a way to take carbon dioxide out of the emissions that result from burning coal. There is only one commercial facility in North America.
The Low Carbon Development Summit is the main event in Shanxi this week. It includes leaders from around the world and hundreds of attendees.