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US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke kicked off a clean energy business development trade mission to China and Indonesia, saying greener energy solutions have the potential to create millions of jobs.

The delegation includes senior executives from 24 American companies representing “a cross-section of the best that America has to offer” in clean energy, energy efficiency, electricity energy storage, transmission and distribution, according to a UPI report, quoting Locke.

Locke said he was eager to help forge new business partnerships for the companies in Hong Kong and in China for projects such as building wind turbines and designing more energy-efficient buildings.

The trade mission continues through May 26, with stops in Shanghai, Beijing and Jakarta, Indonesia.

China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon, has pledged to lower its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40-45 percent by 2020. It also aims for wind, solar and biomass energy to represent 8 percent of its electricity generation capacity by 2020.

The report quoted Locke saying that the US and China, as the world’s two biggest emitters of carbon, have a moral responsibility to lead the world in such an initiative.

A Pew Charitable Trust study released in March showed that China ranks first globally for overall clean energy finance and investment in 2009, with the US slipping to second place. But the US still leads in renewable energy capacity.

Of the 178 gigawatts of power generation capacity under construction in China at the end of 2009, more than 96 gigawatts were for renewable energy.

Energy is a US$6 trillion dollar market. And green energy is the fastest growing sector. The US is China’s second largest trading partner, the second largest export market, and the 6th largest source of imports. China is the US’ 3rd biggest export market, and top import source.

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