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U.S. and China Reaffirm Commitment on Environmental Cooperation

Release Date: 11/08/2005
Contact Information:


Contact: Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov


(Washington, D.C.-Nov. 8, 2005) To protect the global environment for future generations, EPA works with many international partners. Today, the inaugural meeting of the Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation (JCEC) was held in Washington by the U.S. EPA and the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of the People's Republic of China. The meeting was co-chaired by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and SEPA Minister Xie Zhenhua, with more than two dozen senior environment officials from the United States and China in attendance.

The JCEC was established in December 2003 by a Memorandum of Understanding on environmental Scientific and Technical Cooperation signed by the U.S. EPA and SEPA. The memorandum outlined a number of potential collaborative areas, with an immediate focus on prevention and management of air pollution, water contamination, and the environmental impacts of toxic substances. Each of these three areas is the subject of a separate annex to the agreement and managed by a joint working group.

The memorandum created the JCEC to coordinate the work of the annexes, and to meet every two years to further address technical and information exchange, scientific research, and environmental policy.

"Collaboration with our world partners helps EPA meet our commitment to a cleaner global environment," said Administrator Johnson. "Today is the next step in ensuring that the next generation in both China and the United States can look forward to a healthier, cleaner world."

"Environmental protection is the common cause and responsibility of human beings," said Minister Xie. "I sincerely wish to work with EPA and other U.S. agencies to further deepen our environmental cooperation, and make contributions to the global environment not only for us, but also for our future generations."

During today's meeting, both sides acknowledged substantial progress under the different annexes, including:
Two international workshops recently held in Beijing on managing regional air quality and reducing emissions from diesel engines.
Accomplishments of a water protection project in Tianjin, and approval of a new strategy that will focus on water safety and non-point pollution.
Ongoing cooperation to reduce toxic emissions, assess impacts of pollution, and clean-up contaminated sites.
    In the coming year, JCEC will also address the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) Partnership on Clean Fuels and Vehicles and the WSSD Partnership on Indoor Air.

    The Joint Statement of the two ministers is available at: http://www.epa.gov/oia/regions/Asia/ussinojointcommittee.htm

    To learn more about the EPA's environmental work with China, see: http://www.epa.gov/oia/regions/Asia/index.html