China Leaving United States Behind On Green Energy Jobs | On Assignment with Richard Engel | MSNBC

China Leaving United States Behind On Green Energy Jobs | On Assignment with Richard Engel | MSNBC 1

China Leaving United States Behind On Green Energy Jobs | On Assignment with Richard Engel | MSNBC

ENGEL" STARTS RIGHT NOW FROM BEIJING, CHINA.
RICHARD, GOOD EVENING. >>> THANKS, CHRIS.
IT'S 9:00 A.M. HERE. ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD, WE'RE
WAKING UP TO THE NEWS THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALLY
NOTIFIED THE U.N. JUST HOURS AGO THAT THE U.S. IS FORMALLY
LEAVING THE PARIS AGREEMENT. FORMALLY BECAUSE UNDER THE TERMS
OF OF THE AGREEMENT, THE U.S. CAN'T DEPART UNTIL NOVEMBER 4th,
2020, THE DAY AFTER THE NEXT ELECTIONS.
SO THIS IS REALLY JUST ANOTHER CHANCE TO TELL THE PRESIDENT'S
SUPPORTERS IN THE COAL BELT, THE ONES HE ADDRESSED YESTERDAY AT A
RALLY IN WEST VIRGINIA, THAT HE'S DELIVERING ON HIS CAMPAIGN
PROMISE. BUT IT'S FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN
THAT. THIS IS ABOUT THE DIRECTION OUR
COUNTRY IS HEADING IN. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS
THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE PARIS AGREEMENT THAT MAY
HAVE BEEN LOST IN ALL THE RHETORIC.
ONE IS THAT THE AGREEMENT IS NONBINDING.
THE OTHER IS THAT UNTIL NOW, ONLY TWO COUNTRIES REFUSED TO
SIGN IT. NICARAGUA AND SYRIA.
THE U.S. HAS JUST FORMALLY JOINED THAT DISTINCTLY
UNEXCLUSIVE CLUB. CONGRATULATIONS.
THE TOP RANKING AMERICAN DIPLOMAT HERE IN CHINA QUIT HIS
JOB TWO MONTHS AGO. HE SIMPLY COULDN'T UNDERSTAND OR
DEFEND THE DECISION TO QUIT PARIS.
WE HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HIM LATER IN THE SHOW.
SOME AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO SPEND A SECOND OF THIS SHOW DISCUSSING
WHETHER CLIMATE CHANGE IS MAN MADE OR CYCLICAL OR CAUSED BY
ALIEN SPACECRAFT, BECAUSE FRANKLY, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
A NEW WORLD IS COMING. NO MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE, NEW
ECONOMIES, NEW BUSINESSES. A WORLD OF ELECTRIC CARS AND
CHEAP, RELIABLE SOLAR ENERGY. CHINA IS, TO BE SURE, A SUPER
POLLUTING AND SUPER POLLUTED PLACE, THAT BURNS MORE COAL THAN
ANY OTHER COUNTRY. LARGELY BECAUSE OF THAT, THE AIR
IN BEIJING IS BASICALLY NOT FIT FOR HUMANS TO BREATHE.
BUT IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, BOTH CHINA AND INDIA HAVE FIGURED OUT
THAT RENEWABLE ENERGY IS ACTUALLY GOOD BUSINESS TOO.
BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE ENORMOUS AND VERY POOR POPULATIONS.
AND YET BOTH PLAN TO NOT ONLY MEET THE GOALS SET OUT IN THE
PARIS AGREEMENT, BUT BEAT THEM. WE'RE ABOUT TO TAKE YOU ON A
JOURNEY THROUGH ASIA TO SEE WHY CHINA AND INDIA ARE RACING AHEAD
TO EMBRACE NEW TECHNOLOGIES, AND MAKING A KILLING IN THE PROCESS.
SURPRISINGLY, OUR JOURNEY TO ASIA BEGINS, OF ALL PLACES, IN
BROOKLYN. >> HERE COME THE RED LIGHTS.
HERE THEY COME FOR RACE TWO IN THE QUALCOMM CITY E3.
ALREADY DRIVERS ARE MIXING IT UP.
>> BREAKDOWN ON THE INSIDE. >> THIS IS WHAT SPEED SOUNDS
LIKE NOW. WELCOME TO FORMULA E RACING.
ALL THE ADRENALINE, ALL THE EXCITEMENT, WITH VERY LITTLE
NOISE AND ZERO EMISSIONS. AND IF YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF
ELECTRIC CAR RACING, YOU PROBABLY ALSO HAVEN'T HEARD OF
ANAND MAHINDRA, WHOSE TEAM CAME IN SECOND AND THIRD IN THIS
RECENT RACE IN BROOKLYN. ♪♪
>> BUT IN INDIA, MAHINDRA IS A HOUSEHOLD NAME.
IN A COUNTRY KNOWN FOR POVERTY, SPIRITUALITY, AND SOME OF THE
MOST CONGESTED STREETS ON EARTH, HE'S A BILLIONAIRE WHO DRIVES A
TINY, CHEAP, ALL ELECTRIC CAR CALLED THE E20.
>> SUSTAINABILITY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INNOVATIVE
DRAMATICALLY. IF YOU LOOK AT LEAPS OF
INNOVATION, THEY'VE COME AROUND A SINGLE MOVEMENT OF INNOVATION.
>> THE E20 IS THE ONLY ELECTRIC CAR MADE IN INDIA.
THIS WOMAN COULDN'T WAIT FOR HER FATHER TO SIGN THE PAPERS AND
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO CLIMB IN.
THEY THINK IT WAS CRAMPED OR BASIC OR SLOW.
THEY THOUGHT IT WAS THE FUTURE. SO DOES MAHINDRA.
>> INDIA HAS SUFFERED NOT SIMPLY FROM POVERTY OF INCOME OR
WEALTH. HAPPILY, UNDER THIS CURRENT
REGIME, THAT IS BEING RECTIFIED. SO YOU'LL SEE A LOT OF VERY
AMBITIOUS GOALS BEING SET. >> STARTING WITH THE GOAL OF
REPLACING EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE ON INDIA'S ROADS WITH AN
ELECTRIC BY THE YEAR 2030. INDIA'S PRIME MINISTER IS BIG ON
MOONSHOT GOALS. IN 2015, HE TRAVELED TO
CALIFORNIA TO VISIT THE TESLA FACTORY AND MEET THE WORLD'S
MOST FAMOUS ELECTRIC CAR PITCHMAN, ELON MUSK, WHO IS
PLANNING TO OPEN A FACTORY IN INDIA.
MAHINDRA WELCOMES THE COMPETITION.
HE RECENTLY SAID ON TWITTER, "TIME YOU GOT OUT HERE, ELON,
YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE THE WHOLE MARKET TO MAHINDRA, DO
YOU?" >> HE MADE ELECTRIC CARS SEXY.
HE MADE THEM DESIRABLE. HE MADE THEM ASPIRATIONAL.
THAT IS WHAT WE NEED. THIS SHOULD NOT BE SEEN AS CARS
FOR GEEKY TREE HUGGERS ANYMORE. THEY SHOULD BE MAINSTREAM.
HE HELPED DO THAT. WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.
>> MAHINDRA'S CARS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE
SEXY. HE'S COMPETING ON PRICE AND
SCALE. THE CHEAPEST TESLA, THE MODEL 3,
CAN TRAVEL THREE TIMES THE DISTANCE THE E20 CAN COVER ON A
SINGLE CHARGE. AND IT COSTS TWICE AS MUCH.
MAHINDRA BELIEVES THE PRICES WILL DROP FAST.
>> THE PRICES ARE PLUMMETING. IT'S CURRENTLY TWO-THIRDS OF THE
VALUE OF AN ELECTRIC CAR. WE EXPECT THEM TO GO DOWN TO A
THIRD VERY SOON. SO THE TIPPING POINT BETWEEN
GASOLINE AND ELECTRIC CARS IS GOING TO BE REACHED SOONER THAN
PEOPLE THINK. >> THE RACE TO MAKE BATTERIES
THAT LAST LONGER AND COST LESS IS ON.
MUSK IS FOCUSING ON QUALITY, WHILE CHOICE MANUFACTURERS ARE
FOCUSING ON QUANTITY AND PRICE. MAHINDRA IS HAPPY TO WATCH THIS
RACE PLAY OUT. >> NOW, WHEN THESE ELEPHANTS
CLASH, IT'S ACTUALLY VERY GOOD FOR US.
THE OLD ADAGE WAS, YOU DON'T WANT TO GET IN THE WAY OF
ELEPHANTS CLASHING. WE LOVE SEEING ELEPHANTS CLASH,
PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY RELATE TO THE SUPPLY OF BATTERIES TO THIS
INDUSTRY. >> TO SEE THE IMPACT THAT
CHINESE INDUSTRY CAN HAVE ON AN ENERGY MARKET, WE TRAVELED, OF
ALL PLACES, TO RURAL INDIA. PEOPLE HERE STILL USE HAND TOOLS
AND PRIMITIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY. BUT JUST OVER THE HORIZON, THE
FUTURE IS ALREADY HERE. INDIA PRODUCES ABOUT 8% OF HITS
POWER FROM RENEWABLES LIKE WIND AND SOLAR.
IT'S ABOUT THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THE UNITED STATES.
BUT INDIA HAS SET AS A NATIONAL PRIORITY THE GOAL OF NEARLY
TRIPLING THAT NUMBER IN JUST FIVE YEARS.
THESE SOLAR PANELS ARE THE FRUITS OF AMERICAN INVESTMENT.
SEVEN YEARS AGO, AN INDIAN EN

GOLDMAN SACHS. THEY GAVE HIM MONEY TO GET HIS
POWER COMPANY STARTED. NOW IT'S WORTH $2 BILLION.
>> WE HAVE FACILITIES ACROSS DIFFERENT PARTS OF RURAL INDIA,
60 PLANTS LIKE THIS. >> HE WENT TO COLUMBIA BUSINESS
SCHOOL IN NEW YORK. HE SAYS PRESIDENT TRUMP'S BASIC
ASSUMPTION THAT GOOD OLD COAL IS A BETTER, CHEAPER SOURCE OF
ENERGY THAN SOLAR IS OUT OF DATE.
>> RENEWABLE ENERGY IS BECOMING MUCH CHEAPER THAN POLLUTING
SOURCES. MAYBE THREE YEARS AGO OR FIVE
YEARS AGO IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE CORRECT STATEMENT TO MAKE, WHICH
IS THAT CHEAPER SOURCES OF ENERGY ARE MORE POLLUTING.
BUT TODAY THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE.
>> NEW TECHNOLOGY IS HERE. >> EXACTLY.
YOU HAVE SOLAR AND WIND NOW THAT IS FAR CHEAPER THAN ANY
COAL-BASED SOURCE OF POWER. >> HE'S NO ECOWARRIOR.
HE AND HIS INVESTORS WERE INITIALLY DRAWN IN BY SUBSIDIES
OFFERED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE IDEA WAS, IF YOU SUBSIDIZE
IT, THEY WILL COME. AND THIS FIELD OF MIRRORS IS
PROOF THAT IT WORKED. NOW, MARKET FORCES ARE DOING THE
REST. >> THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT
HAS HAPPENED IS THAT THE PANELS THEMSELVES HAVE BECOME CHEAPER.
THEY'VE COME DOWN TO A THIRD OF WHAT THEY COST JUST THREE YEARS
AGO. >> WITH EACH GENERATION OF SOLAR
PANELS GETTING BETTER AND CHEAPER, CREATING A CYCLE IN
WHICH DEMAND AND SUPPLY ARE BOTH GROWING RAPIDLY.
WE DECIDED TO NEXT HEAD TO THE ENGINE THAT POWERS THAT CYCLE.
CHINA. THIS IS THE FACTORY WHERE THE
PANELS WE SAW IN INDIA ARE PRODUCED.
THE SPEED WITH WHICH FACTORIES LIKE THIS ONE HAVE POPPED UP IS
ASTONISHING. >> CHINA NOW IS THE LARGEST
BUILDER OF WIND FARMS AND SOLAR FARMS AROUND THE WORLD, BY FAR.
THEY'RE BUILDING AT LEAST TWICE AS FAST AS THE UNITED STATES.
THEY'VE REALLY TAKEN OVER THE WORLD IN TERMS OF SOLAR CAPACITY
AND SOLAR MANUFACTURING. YOU KNOW, 66% OR SO OF THE SOLAR
PANELS THAT ARE SOLD AROUND THE WORLD NOW ARE FROM CHINA OR
TAIWAN. >> ALVIN LIN IS WITH THE NATURAL
RESOURCE DEFENSE COUNCIL. HE SAYS THAT CHINA, WHICH IS ONE
OF THE MOST POLLUTING AND POLLUTED NATIONS ON EARTH,
CHANGED COURSE A DECADE AGO AND IS NOW RACING TO BECOME A GREEN
POWERHOUSE. IS IT BECAUSE THEY TRIED THE
OTHER EXPERIENCE, CHOKED ON THE BAD AIR, AND DECIDED THEY CAN'T
DO THAT ANYMORE? OR IS IT A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY,
OR BOTH? >> IT'S BOTH.
IT'S BOTH. YOU KNOW, CHINA HAS ALWAYS BEEN
USING A LOT OF COAL BECAUSE IT HAS A LOT OF COAL.
BUT BACK IN 2006, THEY PASSED THE RENEWABLE ENERGY LAW.
SO THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME REALLY SET OUT THESE TARGETS,
THIS PLAN TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF WIND AND SOLAR.
>> CHINA SPENT $102 BILLION ON RENEWABLE ENERGY IN 2015.
THAT'S MORE THAN TWICE WHAT THE U.S. SPENT.
AND WHILE PRESIDENT TRUMP TALKS ABOUT BRINGING BACK JOBS IN
COAL, CHINA PLANS TO SPEND EVEN MORE ON RENEWABLE ENERGIES OVER
THE NEXT THREE YEARS, AND CREATE 13 MILLION JOBS IN THE PROCESS.

AHEAD, TAKE THE LEADERSHIP. THAT'S HOW YOU CREATE JOBS.
THAT'S ALL CHINA'S DOING, RIGHT? I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL WE'RE
DOING. >> CHRIS DEANGELIS IS AN
AMERICAN LAWYER WHO WORKS WITH LARGE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES IN
BEIJING. HE SAYS WHILE AMERICANS ARGUE
ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, THE CHINESE ARE RACING
AHEAD. >> WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE
IT, THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD IS GOING, RIGHT?
YOU TAKE A VERY SORT OF BUSINESS FOCUS ON IT.
THEY SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING. THE WHOLE WORLD IS GOING DOWN
THIS PATH, OTHER THAN THE U.S. RIGHT NOW, RIGHT?
AND IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO LEAD.
IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO GENERATE JOBS.
SO THEY'RE KILLING IT RIGHT NOW. >> AND IT DOESN'T STOP AT SOLAR
PANELS. REMEMBER THAT RACE TO BUILD
BETTER AND CHEAPER BATTERIES TO POWER ELECTRONIC CARS?
CHINESE FACTORIES LIKE THIS ONE ARE RAMPING UP PRODUCTION SO
QUICKLY THAT THEY WILL BE MAKING ENOUGH BATTERIES HERE TO POWER
1.5 MILLION TESLA CARS A YEAR. FOR ALL OF MUSK'S ENERGY AND
INNOVATION, HE CAN'T COMPETE WITH CHINA ON HIS OWN.
>> CHINA'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES ARE WAY AHEAD OF THE
U.S. THEIR MANDATE FOR RENEWABLE
ENERGY FAR EXCEEDS THE U.S. SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE UNDER THE
IMPRESSION THAT CHINA IS EITHER DRAGGING THEIR FEET OR SOMEHOW
BEHIND THE U.S. IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROMOTION.
BUT THEY'RE BY FAR THE MOST AGGRESSIVE ON EARTH.
>> EVERYONE SAYS TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, BE CREATIVE, BE AN

THE FACT IS IN MANY WAYS CHINA ALMOST USES TECHNOLOGY AS A
COMMODITY NOW. THEY'RE LIKE, WE CAN BUY IT, WE
HAVE TONS OF PEOPLE, WE CAN MAKE IT.
>> AND NOT ONLY IN CHINA. WHEN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES
DECIDED TO SWITCH ITS BUS FLEET TO ALL ELECTRIC, A NEW FACTORY
QUICKLY OPENED UP IN THE MOHAVE DESERT.
IT'S BACKED BY WARREN BUFFETT BUT OWNED BY A CHINESE COMPANY.
THE FIRST BUSES ARE ALREADY ON THE ROAD IN LANCASTER,
CALIFORNIA. ANOTHER WIN FOR THE CHINESE WAY
OF DOING RENERENEWABLES. BACK IN HIS OFFICE IN BEIJING,
DEANGELIS SAYS AMERICAN COMPANIES WERE INHERENTLY THE
UNDERDOGS IN THIS RACE. >> WE DO HAVE AMAZING POCKETS OF
TECHNOLOGY ALL OVER THE U.S. BUT IT'S EVERYBODY ON THEIR OWN,
VERSUS CHINA, WHICH IS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY THAT'S LIKE ON
THE SAME MISSION. >> DEANGELIS HAS LIVED IN CHINA
FOR THE PAST 13 YEARS. HE HAS SEEN HOW QUICKLY THIS AN
GENERATE COUNTRY IS CHANGING ITS WAYS.
WHAT HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND IS WHY OUR PRESIDENT CAN'T DO THE SAME.
>> ALL HE DOES IS TALK ABOUT, HE'S GOING TO GET COAL JOBS.
IT'S AN OLD WORLD HE'S FIGHTING FOR.
IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.
THE FUTURE IS MOVING ON. THE U.S. NEEDS TO ACCEPT THAT,
RIGHT? >> IS THE U.S. GOING TO MISS THE
NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION HERE? >> THE U.S. IS STILL LEADING THE
WORLD ACROSS ALMOST EVERY TECHNOLOGY FROM A PURE
TECHNOLOGY PERSPECTIVE. THE QUESTION REALLY IS, DOES
THAT MATTER. >> CRITICS WOULD SAY, AH, WE'VE
HEARD ALL THIS BEFORE, THE CHINESE WERE GOING TO BE EATING
OUR LUNCH, DIDN'T HAPPEN. WHY IS NOW ANY DIFFERENT?
>> BECAUSE NOW IS, WHAT YOU'RE STARTING TO SEE, I THINK, THE
RESULT OF 30, 40 YEARS OF PLANNING OF AN ENTIRE NATION
ALIGNED ON ONE GOAL, THAT AGAIN, IT'S NOT LIKE THEY'RE SAYING,
OH, IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. THEY'VE BEEN PLANNING THIS FOR
YEARS. THEIR EDUCATION SYSTEM, THEIR
SUPPLY CHANNELS, EVERYTHING. IT'S MOVING UP THROUGH THE
SYSTEM. >> AND THEY WERE WAITING FOR
THIS OPPORTUNITY? >> YEAH.
I MEAN, THIS IS, YOU KNOW, A 100-YEAR PLAN, RIGHT?
>> WAS TRUMP A GIFT TO CHINA? >> I THINK SO.
I WOULD BE PRETTY HAPPY IF I WAS CHINA.
>> THERE WAS AT LEAST ONE PERSON HERE IN BEIJING WHO WAS NOT
HAPPY WHEN THE PRESIDENT DROPPED OUT OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT.
HE WAS THAT SENIOR AMERICAN DIPLOMAT WE TOLD YOU ABOUT.
AND HE TOLD ME THAT FORCED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN HIS CAREER AND A
POLICY HE COULD NOT ACCEPT, HIS FAITH LED HIM TO THE ANSWER.
>> I'M A CHRISTIAN. I'M NOT A THEOLOGIAN.
IF WE'RE STEWARDS OF CREATION, CHARGED WITH TAKING CARE OF THIS
EARTH, THAT MEANS DOING THINGS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
>> THAT STORY, STILL TO COME. BUT FIRST, THE PRESIDENT SINGLED
OUT ONE AMERICAN CITY IN HIS SPEECH, SAYING HE WAS ELECTED TO
REPRESENT PITTSBURGH, NOT PARIS. TURNS OUT NOT EVERYONE IN
PITTSBURGH WAS HAPPY ABOUT THAT.