Greater cooperation among private businesses from China and the United States would help to address climate change while their governments are “having a rough time”, according to former US treasury secretary Hank Paulson . Addressing the China and Globalisation Forum Special Online Programme on Monday, Paulson said the private sector was the main force in green technology development and the world’s two biggest economies should ensure there could be cooperation in the area. “There’s nothing wrong with admitting we [China and the US] are strategic competitors and we are competing in all these areas, but we need to acknowledge that both countries have shared goals. We need a global order that works, and we need to save the planet,” Paulson said. US, China ‘must focus on food’ if the world wants net-zero carbon emissions Paulson, who now chairs the Paulson Institute, a think tank focused on US-China relations, also said China’s strict Covid-19 control measures had driven many businesspeople to leave the country and return to the US. “I look forward to the day we can travel freely and I can visit China and we can have more interpersonal relations,” he said. “I knew there would be tough times between our governments – Beijing and Washington DC. “But we need other linkages: people-to-people linkages, academic linkages.” Paulson said people from the two countries “like each other” but were barred by the strict Covid policy for now. He also said he believed that the US-China relationship was “the most competitive relationship” with many hidden opportunities. The China and Globalisation Forum Special Online Programme was hosted by the Beijing-based Centre for China and Globalisation, a Chinese non-governmental think tank. The programme aims to foster “partnership on climate action and ecological conservation by bridging conversations between entrepreneurs from China and the US”.