During her first official visit to China, United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] Administrator Lisa Jackson and China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian signed an agreement that formalizes the partnership between the U.S. and China on environmental protection.
“The United States and China have enjoyed a strong relationship and have achieved significant progress in our nearly 30-year partnership on environmental protection. As we celebrate our shared success, this is a good time for us to also evaluate our collaboration, identify emerging priorities, and sharpen our focus on building a prosperous and healthy future," said EPA Administrator Jackson. "[China’s] Ministry of Environmental Protection has many accomplishments worth recognizing. I look forward," said Administrator Jackson, "to enhancing our collaboration and am proud to renew this historic connection."
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, EPA will continue to collaborate with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection on the prevention and management of air pollution, water pollution, pollution of persistent organic pollutants and toxic substances, hazardous and solid waste, and the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental law.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was a renewal of an MOU that expired in 2008, also provides opportunities distinct from existing agreements on science and technology cooperation and establishes a joint committee that is co-chaired by EPA’s administrator and China’s environmental protection minister. The joint committee meets every 2 years. The next meeting will be hosted by Administrator Jackson in Washington, D.C. on November 16 to 17, 2010. At the meeting, U.S. and Chinese environmental protection officials will review progress made during the past 2 years and approve work plans for the next 2 years.
For 30 years, the United States and China have engaged in a wide range of cooperative activities aimed at increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions of pollutants, toxics, and greenhouse gases, limiting threats to public health caused by pollution, and creating a foundation for long-term environmental sustainability. The United States and China have been at the forefront of environmental collaboration and are building on past successes to jointly address current and emerging environmental challenges.