Granholm made the comments at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, during an interview with Wajahat Ali where she discussed her desire to push the U.S. toward “net zero by 2050” and remarked that China’s investments in green energy were “encouraging.”
Ali introduced the topic by saying that there should be “accountability” for countries like America and China for the “damage to the world” he said they had wrought.
“How do we hold China and ourselves accountable for what we are doing around the world?” Ali asked Granholm.
She noted how the U.S. was pushing countries around the world to adopt “aggressive” climate policies “to make sure that we don’t get climate — global warming happening over, you know, 1.5 degrees.”
Granholm said that some countries were ambivalent towards green energy efforts but that China had been investing heavily in green energy. “But, I think China has done — has been very sensitive, and has actually invested a lot in their solutions, to achieve their goals,” she said.
“So we’re — we’re hopeful that, you know, we can all learn from what China is doing,” she explained. “The amount of money that they’re investing in clean energy is actually, you know, encouraging.”
Critics have accused the Biden administration of being “gullible” in their efforts to work with China on green energy.
“I find [it] utterly remarkable that Chairman Xi [Jinping] of China and the Chinese Communist Party gives a tinker’s damn about the planet’s climate or climate change,” Texas Public Policy officer Frank DeVore told Fox News last month. “It is merely a device to engage gullible Westerners into thinking that somehow we can get meaningful cooperation.”
Under Biden, policymakers in the U.S. have continued to focus on making a renewable energy transition despite the geopolitical and economic risks that emerge from a lack of reliable and cheap power sources.
While the U.S. has pushed to limit energy from coal and gas, China has approved coal-fired power plant construction initiatives at six times the rate of every other nation combined, while Europe has reluctantly restarted operations at mothballed coal-fired plants amid the loss of fuel imports from Russia.