(1 October 2004 - - New York) Environmental Defense chief economist Dan Dudek met yesterday with the Chinese Premier and was awarded the Chinese Government's National Friendship Award, the highest tribute paid to foreigners. The Chinese government grants the award to foreign experts that have made significant contributions to China's development. For eight years, Dr. Dudek has worked with Chinese experts, local municipalities, the central government and businesses on controlling acid rain.
"Environmental Defense is honored to have Dan receive the National Friendship Award from the Chinese government," said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense. "He has played an important role in establishing the effectiveness of market-based approaches to environmental protection in the United States and now in China. Successfully applying total emissions control and emissions trading to the problem of acid rain will bring our people and both of our nations closer to our shared goal of finding practical solutions to protect the planet's health."
"Dr. Dudek and his team are working with local governments, the national government, and private power companies in China on practical, on-the-ground systems using emission caps that reduce China's burgeoning air pollution and reward those companies that develop the most cost-effective ways of doing so. Dan's work has been seminal as an intellectual contribution to the field, and has been aimed strategically at two countries with the largest environmental footprint in the 21st century. " said Peter Goldmark, Environmental Defense Climate and Air program manager.
"The award is really recognition of the contributions of our team and colleagues in China," said Dan Dudek. "Our work is to bridge our respective experiences and build smart, effective and lasting environmental policies developed and applied with Chinese characteristics. What few outside China realize is that a real environmental revolution is occurring in the country. China has capped its sulfur dioxide emissions. New power plants have to use not only modern control technology but they must offset their remaining emissions. A permit system is being drafted and formal public participation in the policy making process has begun. There is a new openness as NGOs are encouraged by the government to take a more active role in society. These are very fundamental changes."