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U.S. and China Address Energy Security and Environmental Stewardship in Strategic Economic Dialogue

Release Date: 05/22/2007
Contact Information: Jennifer Wood, (202) 564-4355 / wood.jennifer@epa.gov Jessica Emond, (202) 564-4355 / emond.jessica@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - May 22, 2007) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and other members of the president's cabinet joined their Chinese government counterparts to discuss priority initiatives for energy and environmental cooperation. The discussions took place as part of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) talks being held this week.

"Pollution knows no geographic or political borders. But by working together at the SED, we are moving America and China toward a cleaner, healthier, more productive future," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Through our continued dialogue and targeted initiatives, EPA and our international neighbors are writing the next chapter in our countries' ongoing book of environmental collaborations."

Through the SED process, the U.S. hopes to share with China experience in formulating and implementing policies and initiatives that protect the environment while promoting economic growth.

The U.S. discussed four areas for environmental collaboration with the Chinese. The U.S. and China will work to develop up to 15 large-scale Coal-Mine Methane capture and utilization projects in China over the next 5 years. Methane is roughly 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Capturing methane creates a commodity that provides clean energy and increases mine safety.

The U.S. and China will also work to advance development of a low sulfur fuel policy for China. Currently, China suffers from significant air pollution stemming from cars and trucks. Deploying low sulfur fuels in combination with new clean vehicle technologies will lead to major improvements in air quality.

Before the next session of the SED, the U.S. and China will complete the Joint Economic Study to evaluate different policy approaches for saving energy and controlling emissions from the Chinese and U.S. power sectors. Once completed, the study can be used by China and the U.S. to enhance the effectiveness of energy and environmental policies by providing information about the costs and benefits of different control strategies.

Additionally, the U.S. and China will implement a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on energy efficiency product endorsement labeling. The initiative strengthens the partnership between the successful Energy Star program and the China Standard Certification Center's labeling program. Activities under the MOU will build capacity for voluntary energy-efficiency endorsement labeling in China and explore labeling harmonization between the U.S. and China. Increasing the use of energy efficient products will help China meet its national energy intensity goal and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from electricity consumption.

The SED is a forum to manage the economic relationship between the U.S. and China on a long-term, strategic basis. By prioritizing issues in the broader context of a bilateral economic relationship, the SED provides a framework, gives direction and creates momentum for the many existing mechanisms to foster cooperation and resolve concerns across a broad range of economic issues.

More information about U.S./China collaboration on clean air and energy projects: epa.gov/oia/airandclimate/byregion/chinaair.html