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China and U.S. Agree on Air Emission Reduction InitiativesJuly 11, 2013
The United States and China governments have announced an agreement to pursue joint initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The announcement was made during the fifth meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
The initiatives were developed by the U.S.-China Working Group on Climate Change. That group intends to work with private sector and non-governmental stakeholders to develop implementation plans for each initiative by October 2013.
The initiatives include:
- Reducing emissions from heavy-duty and other vehicles. This initiative will include developing policies to reduce carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions. The focus will be on improved engine efficiency standards, cleaner fuels, and vehicle emissions controls. In the U.S., many of the subject emission controls are due to be implemented beginning in 2014.
- Increasing carbon capture, utilization, and storage. China and the United States intend to cooperate on improving carbon capture, utilization, and storage by implementing several large-scale demonstration projects in both countries.
- Increasing energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and transport. Both countries intend to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including use of innovative financing models. LEAD standards may become the reference point for this program.
- Improving greenhouse gas data collection and management. The United States will work with China to build capacity for collection and management of greenhouse-gas emissions data. This additional data will be used to steer climate change policies in both countries.
- Promoting smart grids. Both countries intend to develop “smart” grid systems, deploying renewable and clean energy, and improving demand management. The goals include establishing more resilient and efficient grid systems, and utilizing additional distributed generation.
These recommendations will be presented in a report set to be released July 11 (we will provide an update thereafter). The Working Group is also implementing an agreement on hydrofluorocarbons, signed by President Obama and President Xi at their meeting on June 8, 2013, in Sunnylands, California.
The Working Group was established under the Joint Statement on Climate Change issued on April 13, 2013, during Secretary Kerry’s first trip to China.
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