The White House said Thursday that Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese officials agreed to expand cooperation on energy-data transparency and climate change during Biden’s visit this week.
Tensions between China and Japan over disputed airspace attracted lots of attention during Biden’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the friction looks set to continue.
But the White House claimed progress between U.S. and Chinese officials on other topics during the visit, including joint work to phase down consumption of a strong greenhouse gas used in refrigeration.
“Today, both countries reaffirmed the agreements reached by leaders earlier this year regarding phasing down the production and consumption of the highly potent greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbons using the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol and to take next steps in the process,” the White House said in a statement Thursday.
On another topic, the White House said China agreed to make its energy market data more transparent.
China said it would develop the capacity to publish statistics more often and cooperate more strongly with a multilateral effort called the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.
The U.S. “pledged to share its expertise” in the area, according to the White House.
The White House also said the two countries remain committed to tackling fossil-fuel subsidies, which the International Energy Agency’s top economist has called “public enemy No. 1” in efforts to spur low-carbon energy development.
G-20 nations have for years been pledging to work on phasing down subsidies, but the IEA said in a November report that subsidies grew to $544 billion worldwide in 2012.
“On fossil-fuel subsidies, China, together with the United States, committed to undergo peer reviews under the G-20 process, and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption,” the White House said.