EDF Hails China-California Agreement on Climate Change and Clean Energy

September 13, 2013


Jennifer Andreassen, +1-202-572-3387, jandreassen@edf.org

(SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 13, 2013) California Governor Jerry Brown and China’s National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua today signed a groundbreaking climate change agreement that pledges cooperation on a range of low-carbon economic strategies ranging from electric vehicles to carbon trading.

“This partnership between China, the world’s fastest-growing economy, and California, the U.S. state leading the way to a low-carbon economy, is potentially revolutionary,” said Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund. “With a string of powerful bilateral actions this year, we may be seeing the birth of the global low-carbon economy here on the Pacific Rim.”

With its deep, long-term experience with energy efficiency, California has grown its economy into the world’s eighth largest while holding per capita electricity consumption nearly flat for over thirty years. China is the world’s second-largest economy.

“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, Senior Vice President for Programs at EDF, who attended the signing ceremony. “It’s great to see two climate champions coming together.”

The agreement, first discussed in April during the governor’s trade mission to China, is further evidence of the emerging climate cooperation between the U.S. and China. Among the milestones: President Obama and President Xi Jinping forged a historic commitment to reduce greenhouse gases at an early June summit at Sunnylands, in Palm Springs; California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols traveled in late June to Shenzhen, site of China’s first carbon trading program, to pledge cooperation on emissions trading; and President Obama and President Xi met again earlier this month in St. Petersburg at the G20 meeting.

“EDF has been working in China for more than 20 years and in California for much longer, so we know that each government has a great deal to share and learn from the other,” said Krupp. “No single actor can solve climate change, but China and California are forging a powerful alliance — one that will serve as a model for others to follow.” 

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