Can America Learn From China's Carbon Contradiction?

China is burning coal like it's going out of style, even as the country has recognized the serious environmental risks involved and is investing heavily in solutions. The prosperity of the U.S. is so linked to China that it presents both a challenge and an opportunity for U.S. companies.

John Vechey of PopCap Games recently joined The Motley Fool for a climate change summit. Among his guests were Stu Dalheim, vice president of shareholder advocacy at Calvert Investments, and Todd Larsen, director of corporate responsibility for Green America. In the video below, Dalheim and Larsen discuss developments in China as they relate to climate change.

New technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) hold the potential to reduce coal's environmental effect. Dalheim discusses Duke Energy's (NYSE: DUK  ) initiatives in this space. While these technologies are still far from commercial viability, forward-thinking companies are working to change that. Southern (NYSE: SO  ) is building a coal plant in Mississippi that will feature CCS to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Valero's (NYSE: VLO  ) Port Arthur refinery uses EOR to extract carbon dioxide from two steam methane devices. If these companies succeed in reducing emissions while constraining technological costs, they will be in a good position indeed.

We're seeing a lot of progress, but we have a long way to go. Watch the video to hear more from the experts.

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