China plays, and will likely continue to play, an indispensable role in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) and manufacturing of low-carbon technologies that are necessary to address climate change. For example, China’s scale-up capabilities that are underpinned by manufacturing process improvements, supply chain optimization, and deep government support have contributed to substantial reductions in costs for mature technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV) (1). However, the growing size of these economic sectors, coupled with national security concerns over the strong dependence on China in certain critical industries, has prompted policy-makers from Washington to Brussels to ask whether to alter course. Recognizing that economic and national security risks differ across technologies and the nature of a country’s integration with China, we highlight five primary risks to integration—separated into their economic and national security implications—and apply them to five leading low-carbon technologies: solar, wind, batteries, “green” steel, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

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DOI: 10.1126/science.abq5446

Recommended citation:

Davidson, M. R., Karplus, V. J., Lewis, J. I., Nahm, J., & Wang, A. (2022). Risks of decoupling from China on low-carbon technologies. Science, 377(6612), 1266–1269.