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California and China expand partnership on climate change
14 September 2013
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and China’s top climate official, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua, signed an agreement on climate change—the first between the NDRC and a subnational entity. The NDRC oversees China’s efforts to address climate change and much of the government’s economic strategy.
In April, Governor Brown and China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian signed an agreement to strengthen and coordinate efforts to improve air quality. (Earlier post.) In June, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols and Director of the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission Xu Anliang signed a memorandum of understanding to expand cooperation at the subnational level to tackle global climate change. (Earlier post.)
The fact that the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China is entering into an agreement with one of the fifty states reflects the important position of California not only in the economy, but in science, technology and climate change initiatives. I see the partnership between China, between provinces in China, and the state of California as a catalyst and as a lever to change policies in the United States and ultimately change policies throughout the world.—Gov. Brown
The MOU seeks to enhance cooperation through a range of activities, including:
Mitigating carbon emissions;
Strengthening performance standards to control greenhouse gasses;
Designing and implementing carbon emissions trading systems;
Sharing information on policies and programs to strengthen low carbon development;
Exchanging personnel and jointly organizing workshops and training; and
Researching clean and efficient energy technologies.
This agreement builds on more than a year and a half of significant diplomatic and business exchanges between California and China, including the Governor’s Trade and Investment Mission to China, the opening of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai and a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. Partnership on climate change was one of many subjects the Governor discussed with President Xi and a key component of the trade mission, which included a meeting with officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and remarks on climate change at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
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