U.S., China agree on environmental protection

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WASHINGTON — During her first official visit to China, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian signed an agreement that formalizes the partnership between the U.S. and China on environmental protection.

Progress

“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.

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

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

The Memorandum of Understanding, which was a renewal of an 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.

Conference

The joint committee meets every two years, and the next meeting will be hosted by Jackson in Washington, D.C. Nov. 16-17. 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 U.S. 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.

EPA and MEP have been at the forefront of environmental collaboration and are building on past successes to jointly address current and emerging environmental challenges.

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