EDF, China Climate Leader Hail New Era of U.S.-China Climate Cooperation

September 15, 2015
Laura Catalano, (202) 641-5922, lcatalano@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – September 15, 2015) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today hailed announcements by Chinese and U.S. cities to peak and mitigate climate pollution, saying it is further evidence of a new dynamic of climate cooperation between the world’s two largest polluters. Commitments to reduce carbon emissions at the municipal level ultimately make possible stronger national commitments, which can in turn lead to effective international action.

EDF president Fred Krupp lauded the announcements and the use of emissions trading programs.

“From Beijing to Los Angeles, we’ve seen the spread of successful cap and trade programs in both China and the U.S. Instead of arguing about who is to blame, these cities are taking constructive action,” said Krupp. “We are hopeful that from the cities, our nations will find inspiration to develop national market-based programs to cut climate pollution.”

Su Wei, China’s Chief Climate Change Negotiator affirmed China’s support for today’s actions and the use of carbon markets. “We are learning from our carbon emissions trading pilots. First and foremost is the political commitment to carbon markets. Secondly, it is fundamental to set the cap. Thirdly, markets can turn challenges into opportunities. Fourthly, a robust monitoring and compliance system is indispensable to the effectiveness and credibility of any carbon market.”

Carbon trading markets figure into both countries’ strategies. California, nine U.S. states, and two Canadian provinces are already using the power of the market to limit pollution while growing their economies. Carbon markets are one of the best options available to U.S. states under Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. China has implemented cap and trade programs in five cities and two provinces, covering 25 percent of that nation’s economy. And it is working towards a 2017-to-2020 rollout of a national cap and trade program. 

EDF, which has had a presence in China since 1991, has been providing technical assistance to the Chinese government as they launch the carbon trading programs.

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