was awarded the prestigious John Fritz medal.1 Previous recipients of the prize, Mr. Borrus noted, include Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Orville Wright.
Kristina M. Johnson
U.S. Department of Energy
China and the United States share many strategic energy interests, Energy Under Secretary Johnson said. Both nations are among the world’s top energy producers and consumers and emitters of carbon dioxide. “By working together we can leverage our comparative advantages in innovation and address this global climate challenge,” she said.
Controlling greenhouse gas emissions is a major responsibility of both nations. Together, the United States and China emit 40 percent of the world’s CO2. Europe accounts for around 20 percent. “There is no way to tag the molecules under the Chinese flag or the American flag. We own them all,” Dr. Johnson noted. “So we will have to work together to figure out a way to mitigate the impact they have and will have in the future on our environment.”
That impact already is becoming visible everywhere. In her home town in Colorado, Dr. Johnson said, an infestation of pine beetles has caused widespread deforestation. In a nearby state, half of glaciers have been lost in the last 100 years. “I am sure there are places that are familiar to you where you have seen the effects of climate change over the past several decades,” she said.
The great news is that Americans and Chinese “both come from very innovative cultures and we know how to address challenging problems,” Dr. Johnson said. “As an engineer, every problem is an opportunity to innovate. So I look forward to working together.”
Dr. Johnson presented an overview of the Obama Administration’s agenda to expand the clean-energy economy in the United States. The goals are to secure America’s energy future, reduce greenhouse-gas
1The John Fritz Medal was established in 1902 in honor of steel magnate John Fritz and is awarded by the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) for important achievements in science or industry. Dr. Johnson won in 2008.