U.S. and China Sign Environmental Protection Agreement

BEIJING, China, October 12, 2010 (ENS) – During her first official visit to China, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson today signed an agreement with Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian that formalizes the partnership between the United States and China on environmental protection.

“The United States and China have enjoyed a strong relationship and achieved significant progress in our nearly 30-year partnership on environmental protection. As we celebrate our shared successes, 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 Jackson.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Photo courtesy Clinton Global Initiative)

Under the agreement, the EPA will continue to collaborate with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection on the prevention and management of air ollution, water pollution, pollution from persistent organic pollutants and other toxics, hazardous and solid waste, and the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental law.

“The global environmental community has learned much in the last 30 years, and MEP has many accomplishments worth recognizing,” said Jackson. “I look forward to enhancing our collaboration and am proud to renew this historic connection today.”

The agreement, a renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding 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 two years, and the next meeting will be hosted by Administrator Jackson in Washington on November 16 and 17. At the meeting, MEP and EPA officials will review progress made during the last two years and approve work plans for the next two years.

For 30 years, the United States and China have engaged in 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.

During her visit which concludes October 14, Jackson will open the Regional Air Quality Meeting in Beijing, visit the world’s largest electronic waste site, and host a town hall meeting with students at Sun Yat-sen University.

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