SACRAMENTO, Calif. and BEIJING, CHINA /California Newswire/ — Today, Calif. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the first agreement of its kind between a subnational entity and China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian to strengthen and coordinate efforts to improve air quality.
“Reducing pollution takes great political struggle,” said Governor Brown in a meeting with China’s Minister of Environmental Protection. “We know in America it’s not easy, so it won’t be easy in Beijing. But to the extent that we can help, we would like to help.”
In addition to collaboration on air quality measures, the agreement encourages joint efforts to protect public health, promote clean and efficient energy, protect the environment and natural resources and support sustained economic growth.
In the agreement, California and the Ministry commit to activities that will reduce air pollution while enabling sustained economic growth and increase cooperation to enhance pollution control strategies for industrial sectors and the transportation sector. California and the Ministry also pledge to work together to strengthen institutions and governance structures that oversee implementation and enforcement of air pollution reduction programs and to support joint-ventures, partner-agreements and capital investments in the design, construction and operation of projects that reduce air pollution.
The agreement calls for cooperative measures including the exchange of strategies and information on pollution control systems, collaboration on research and joint workshops and trainings.
“We still have a long way to go, but we have made progress and we would like to work with China to help you realize your dream of a more efficient, cleaner environment,” said Governor Brown.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection was created in 2008 when China’s environmental protection function was elevated to its own Ministry.
The Governor also met with China’s Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Xu Shaoshi today. The NDRC oversees efforts to address climate change and much of the government’s economic strategy.
The Governor’s trade and investment mission follows more than a year of significant diplomatic and business exchanges between the State of California and China. In February 2012, Governor Brown welcomed His Excellency Xi Jinping, then-Vice President, and now President of China, to California. During the visit, Governor Brown announced his intention to visit China, open a trade and investment office and form a China-California Joint Task Force to drive more collaboration, investment and trade between California and China. Later in 2012, the Brown administration convened the inaugural Joint Economic Committee between California and China’s Jiangsu Province, hosted a Chinese delegation led by the Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Commerce and met with a Chinese delegation led by Deputy Governor Xia Geng of China’s Shandong Province.
This week and next, the Governor will meet with Chinese government and business leaders, highlight bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two regions and open a new trade and investment office. In addition to Beijing, the trade and investment mission will include events in Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen through Tuesday, April 16th.
Joining the Governor on the trade and investment mission is a delegation organized by the Bay Area Council that includes approximately 90 business, economic development, investment and policy leaders from throughout California. Senior administration officials are also accompanying the delegation.
Earlier today, Governor Brown signed an agreement with China’s Ministry of Commerce and met with the American Chamber of Commerce-Beijing.
Full text of the agreement is copied below:
AGREEMENT TO ENHANCE COOPERATION ON REDUCING AIR POLLUTION BETWEEN
THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This Agreement to Enhance Cooperation on reducing air pollution is entered into by the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (MEP) and the State of California of the United States of America (California), hereafter jointly referred to as the “Participants,” in order to strengthen and coordinate efforts to improve air quality and protect public health, promote clean and efficient energy, protect the environment and natural resources, and support sustained economic growth.
This Agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the Participants and facilitates collaboration in areas of mutual interest. It supports capacity building to reduce air pollution by the Participants and facilitates cooperation and trade in environment-friendly technologies.
Areas of Cooperation
The Participants agree to cooperate in the following areas, on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, and in any other areas agreed to by both Participants:
• Activities that reduce air pollution while enabling sustained economic growth;
• Activities that enhance pollution control strategies for industrial sectors and the transportation sector;
• Activities that strengthen institutions and governance structures that oversee implementation and enforcement of air pollution reduction programs;
• Activities that support joint-ventures, partner-agreement, and capital investments in the design, construction, and operation of projects that reduce air pollution.
Forms of Cooperation
Forms of cooperation may include the following:
• Exchange of regulatory strategies, polices, programs and incentives to reduce pollution across economic sectors and regions;
• Exchange of information on the structure and design of regulatory institutions that enforce pollution laws and rules, including California’s network of regional air quality management districts [AQMDs”>;
• Visits of personnel from one of the Participants to the other;
• Cooperative research on technologies and strategies of mutual interest;
• Joint organization of symposia, seminars, workshops, and training; and
• Any other mutually agreeable forms of cooperation that contribute to the purpose of this Agreement.
Each Party will designate a point of contact that will serve as the primary liaisons of ongoing collaboration efforts. These liaisons will work with appropriate staff and policymakers to fulfill the commitments outlined in this Agreement.
The Participants shall encourage their respective environmental protection organization, enterprises, and research institutions to establish and develop direct contacts with each other in the field of air pollution reduction. All activities undertaken pursuant to this Agreement shall be subject to the applicable laws of the Participants, as well as the availability of funds, personnel, and other resources of each Party.
Duration, Discontinuation, Amendments
This Agreement will remain operative for two years from the signing of this Agreement and may be modified as agreed by the Participants in writing. Either Party may withdraw from this Agreement after 45 days written notice to the other Party. The Participants may agree to extend this Agreement.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by the Participants, have signed this Agreement in duplicate in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.
China’s Minister of Environmental Protection
For the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic Of China
Dated: April 10, 2013
Governor of California, Edmund G. Brown Jr.
For the State of California of
The United States of America
Dated: April 10, 2013
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