Thursday, November 19, 2009

U.S. & China Sign Memo On Collecting Reliable GHG Data

Nov 19: In addition to other climate change and energy agreements with China signed this week [See WIMS 11/17/09], U.S. EPA and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have also formalized a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to enhance capacity to address climate change (i.e. greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement, monitoring, reporting). Signing the Memorandum were EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and NDRC Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua. The MOC was signed by Jackson on November 17, 2009, and commences upon the signature and continues for a period of five years, unless discontinued by one of the parties upon six months notification.

Jackson said, “Cooperation between China and the United States is essential to successfully address climate change. EPA has a long and productive partnership with China on many important environmental issues. This arrangement builds upon our ongoing cooperation to address one of the most significant global challenges of our time. The work that will be supported through this agreement will assist China in enhancing its capacity to collect reliable greenhouse gas emissions data. It also presents an opportunity for EPA to share with China its extensive expertise in measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to EPA, initially, cooperation will focus on providing technical support for the development of robust greenhouse gas inventories. In addition, the MOC recognizes the joint work on climate change impacts on economic development, human health, and ecological systems. It also envisions cooperation on education and public awareness of climate change issues. The EPA-NDRC arrangement is one of several implementing measures under the Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment concluded during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue session in Washington earlier this year in July [See WIMS 7/28/09].

According to the 4-page general agreement, cooperative activities undertaken "may involve" "Capacity building for developing greenhouse gas inventories" as well as education activities, climate change impacts and "Other areas determined by the Participants." The MOC also says, "Participants intend to develop, as needed, detailed work plans according to the cooperation themes and forms intended in this MOC, including key activities and outputs of cooperative projects, scheduling, budget and organizational arrangements, etc. . . EPA intends to support cooperative projects through the provision of needed technical assistance and NDRC or the organization designated by NDRC will provide needed in-kind support."

Access a release from EPA (
click here). Access the 4-page MOC (click here). Access links to previous U.S.-China environmental agreements (click here). Access a media report from the Washington Post (click here).