U.S-China EcoPartnership will cut air pollution, study emissions trading for transport sector

July 10, 2014
Jennifer Andreassen, +1-202-288-4867, jandreassen@edf.org

(Beijing/ Washington – July 10, 2014)  An agreement signed today by Environmental Defense Fund and the Shenzhen Low Carbon Development Foundation (SCDF) will seek to reduce air pollution from transportation in the city of Shenzhen, where “mobile sources” account for nearly 30% of the city’s total emissions. Signed in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in the Great Hall of the People on the final day of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks in Beijing, the agreement will also expand the scope of emissions trading systems, and foster business collaborations between the U.S. and China.

“This partnership will tackle one of the world’s most vexing greenhouse gas emissions challenges — controlling pollution from transportation, an especially fast growing source in China,” said Dan Dudek, EDF’s Vice President and Head of the China Program. “China is the world’s largest auto market, so solving the global climate challenge not only requires China manage its greenhouse gas emissions, it requires China address pollution from mobile sources. China’s experiences could provide valuable lessons for the U.S. in reducing emissions from its transport sector.”

The five-year project marks one of the first research efforts on how to include pollution from transportation sources in an emissions trading system. This question is of particular importance to Shenzhen, whose carbon emissions from the transport sector have been increasing at a rate of 15% annually over the past decade. EDF and SCDF will reduce air pollution from transportation through carbon emissions trading while testing the feasibility of expanding emissions trading systems to mobile sources.

“Nothing matters more in solving the climate change problem than the U.S. and China working together to find solutions,” Dudek said.

EDF, a non-profit organization headquartered in New York, with offices around the world including Beijing and Shanghai, will provide technical support and conduct field studies and investigations. SCDF, the first non-public funded non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting low-carbon development in China, will organize research task forces, design verification guidelines, and provide reports and policy recommendations to the Chinese government.

The EDF-SCDF EcoPartnership, which was selected from a competitive application process and was one of six such partnerships signed today, is an outgrowth of EDF and SCDF’s work with Shenzhen’s carbon trading pilot program. It will begin by researching public transport, and over the course of its four implementation phases, expand to include private vehicles, freight, railway and marine transport.

Launched in 2008 and headed by the U.S. Department of State, and in China by the National Development and Reform Commission, the EcoPartnership program promotes cooperation between local governments and organizations in the U.S. and China in climate and energy issues including economic growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security. 

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