US state, Chinese officials announce climate deal

Sep 14, 2013 by Jason Dearen

(AP)—California Gov. Jerry Brown and China's top climate negotiator on Friday signed the first agreement between a U.S. state and China that seeks greater cooperation on clean energy technologies and research meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The memorandum of understanding signed with China's National Development and Reform Commission was another aggressive move by California to combat change. The state has already passed the nation's most ambitious limits, including a so-called "cap and trade" system that put a price on in the state.

"I see the partnership between China and ... California as a catalyst, and as a lever to change policies in the United States and, ultimately, to change policies throughout the world," Brown said just before signing the agreement.

Under the two-year commitment, Chinese and California environment and energy officials will work together to find ways to share new low-carbon technologies, as well as research and policy innovations meant to combat climate change.

China and the U.S. are the world's top two greenhouse gas emitters.

The two sides also agreed to immediately create a task force comprising top officials including China's director general of the Department of Climate Change and California's head of the state Environmental Protection Agency.

"That's the significance of this memorandum of understanding. It involves agencies of state government, agencies of the People's Republic of China ... the University of California, businesses, research scientists in both the public and private sector. This is a very important opportunity," Brown said.

Brown and NDRC Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua said the idea is to help each side share in ways to tighten industrial performance standards to control methane, carbon and other . The two governments would also exchange experts and organize workshops.

"California is being a very good role model and taking a leading role (for climate change regulation) in the U.S.," Xie said through an interpreter.

Xie added that, in China, climate change has become more of a priority as people have realized that it is taking a severe economic and human toll.

Experts on U.S. and Chinese environmental law and climate policy said the agreement is promising at a time when international climate negotiations have stalled in recent years.

"NDRC is the most powerful Chinese agency when it comes to Chinese development and energy projects," said Robert Percival, director of the environmental law program at University of Maryland's Francis King Carey School of Law.

"The pattern that is emerging is that as consensus becomes virtually impossible in global climate negotiations, the U.S. and China are realizing that they can make huge progress simply by working bilaterally."

Some environmental groups also applauded the agreement as progress on .

"This is a remarkable outcome, one that has lessons for China as it tries to limit the emissions of its growing economy, and for California, which can learn from China's innovative policies to support electric vehicles," said Diane Regas of the Environmental Defense Fund.

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2.2 / 5 (6) Sep 14, 2013
Better late than never. By a principle of national pride perhaps both US and China were for many years rejecting international agreements on climate protection, in particular CO2 trading. Now developing their own systems, soon will try to impose them on other nations. Eh... Anyway, as long as it is going in the right direction we can only complain that it is a bit too late to spare our grandchildren the effects of our improvidence.
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2013
I agree and it had to be California too to lead the way for the rest the states to develop model laws which can help in bringing collaboration between China and the US on climate protection measures. I applaud it too.
1.7 / 5 (12) Sep 15, 2013
climate protection measures

Today I drove and walked through White Sands national monument and was impressed by the ability of life to adapt to growing and thriving in the shifting white sand dunes.
If Hottie and his AGWite cult had their way, a place like White Sands would never have existed. Had they been able, they would have protected the climate that laid down the gypsum deposits that after several climate changes in past few thousand years led to the white sand dunes.
How does the AGW cult know what to protect? What would southern NM be like today had they been able to protect that inland sea or Lake Bonneville in UT?
How could they prevent mountains from rising and volcanoes erupting to protect the climate?
The AGW cult claims they want to protect nature by creating a climate stasis. What is the optimal climate to protect? Climate change resulted in mammals dominating the earth. Climate change forced homo sapiens to become intelligent to survive.
1.6 / 5 (14) Sep 15, 2013
"California Gov. Jerry Brown and China's top climate negotiator on Friday signed the first agreement between a U.S. state and China"

California has huge money problems.

China has huge money.

This will not end well

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