The U.S. aluminium industry has long been part of the solution to address climate change in many respects.

Automakers are using lightweight, military-grade aluminium to help achieve far greater fuel economy for their fleets. The construction market relies on aluminium for increasing the energy efficiencies of new buildings. And the increasing rate of recycling is saving energy consumption in the packaging market.

The U.S.-China Joint Presidential Statement promises to make these kinds of gains enjoyed in the United States commonplace in China within a short period of time. If implemented well, China's new cap and trade system should provide ample incentives for carbon-intensive aluminium smelters in China to be phased out.

“We welcome China’s commitments to a cleaner manufacturing future, and the use of aluminium will be a meaningful solution to the challenges of global climate change,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association.

“As they work to address climate change, we believe China should commit to setting appropriate standards for aluminium production emissions and coal usage, taking offline production assets that do not meet those standards.”