To the Editor:
Re “On Climate, Look to China and India” (editorial, May 22):
You rightly note that China and India are fast scaling up cleaner sources of electricity, particularly wind and solar power, raising questions about the United States’ role. But your contention that “China and India are finding that doing right by the planet need not carry a big economic cost” misses an important point. These two countries — like the United States — have been economically inefficient in many of the key policies and financial tools they have used to scale up renewable energy. The result: Renewable energy has cost more than it should.
These technologies are unlikely to grow to a level that will make much difference to the planet without a smarter policy and finance approach. For the United States, that will require working with China in the clean-energy race, not merely trying to defeat it. Though China-bashing is a popular political sport in the United States, it is by leveraging China’s strengths in scaling up cleaner forms of energy that the United States is likely to build a domestic clean-energy industry robust enough to help both the planet and the nation’s economy.
JEFFREY BALL, DAN REICHER