U.S.-China Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment
[Also see PDF of original, signed document.]
Memorandum of Understanding
to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment
the Government of the United States of America
the Government of the People’s Republic of China
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”), recognize the following:
Climate change, clean and efficient energy and environmental protection are among the greatest challenges facing the United States and China.
Cooperation between the United States and China is critical to enhancing energy security, combating climate change, and protecting the environment and natural resources through pollution control and other measures.
Cooperation on climate change, clean and efficient energy and environmental protection can serve as a pillar of the bilateral relationship, build mutual trust and respect, and lay the foundation for constructive engagement between the United States and China for years to come, while also contributing to multilateral cooperation.
The Participants have therefore reached the following understandings:
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to strengthen and coordinate our respective efforts to combat global climate change, promote clean and efficient energy, protect the environment and natural resources, and support environmentally sustainable and low-carbon economic growth.
Both countries commit to respond vigorously to the challenges of energy security, climate change and environmental protection through ambitious domestic action and international cooperation.
Toward this end, both countries intend to transition to a low-carbon economy, carry out policy dialogue and cooperate on capacity building and research, development and deployment of climate-friendly technology.
Both countries resolve to pursue areas of cooperation where joint expertise, resources, research capacity and combined market size can accelerate progress towards mutual goals. These include, but are not limited to:
1) Energy conservation and energy efficiency
2) Renewable energy
3) Cleaner uses of coal, and carbon capture and storage
4) Sustainable transportation, including electric vehicles
5) Modernization of the electrical grid
6) Joint research and development of clean energy technologies
7) Clean air
8) Clean water
9) Natural resource conservation, e.g. protection of wetlands and nature reserves
10) Combating climate change and promoting low-carbon economic growth
Wherever possible, cooperation should seek to include expertise from all sectors of society and provide incentives for engagement at the sub-national level as well as by the business and academic sectors and non-governmental organizations.
This MOU is to be co-chaired by the Department of State and Department of Energy on the U.S. side and the National Development and Reform Commission on the Chinese side. The Participants intend to hold regular ministerial consultations to deepen mutual understanding and promote and guide bilateral cooperation on climate change, clean and efficient energy and environmental protection through a range of mechanisms, including:
A. Ten Year Cooperation Framework on Energy and Environment
The Participants recognize the ongoing importance of the Framework for Ten Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment (“TYF”) dated June 18, 2008 in facilitating practical cooperation between the two countries in the areas of energy and environment. Both sides are committed to implementing all five existing action plans and to expanding the work of the TYF through new action plans.
The Participants also recognize the importance of and are committed to strengthening the EcoPartnerships initiative under the TYF in promoting sub-national cooperation and public-private partnerships to meet climate change, clean and efficient energy, and environmental goals.
Both sides also recognize the fruitful work of the TYF Joint Working Group in meeting the goals of this MOU and are committed to maintaining this effective working mechanism. As is defined by the TYF, the Joint Working Group is composed of officials at the Assistant Secretary-level for the United States and at the Director General-level for China. The Joint Working Group is co-chaired by the Department of State and Department of Energy on the U.S. side and by the National Development and Reform Commission on the Chinese side.
B. Climate Change Policy Dialogue and Cooperation
The Participants have decided to establish Climate Change Policy Dialogue and Cooperation as a platform for the United States and China to address global climate change and to identify and resolve areas of concern.
Consistent with equity and their common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities, the United States and China recognize they have a very important role in combating climate change. The United States and China will work together to further promote the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Participants concur that their Climate Change Policy Dialogue and Cooperation should promote (i) discussion and exchange of views on domestic strategies and policies for addressing climate change; (ii) practical solutions for promoting the transition to low-carbon economies; (iii) successful international negotiations on climate change; (iv) joint research, development, deployment, and transfer, as mutually agreed, of climate-friendly technologies; (v) cooperation on specific projects; (vi) adaptation to climate change; (vii) capacity building and the raising of public awareness; and (viii) pragmatic cooperation on climate change between cities, universities, provinces and states of the two countries.
The Participants intend to hold consultations between representatives of the two countries’ leaders on a regular basis. The Participants may establish working groups or task forces involving relevant ministries as necessary to support the objectives of the Climate Change Policy Dialogue and Cooperation.
C. Other Mechanisms for Cooperation
New initiatives, frameworks or other mechanisms for cooperation intended to achieve the goals of this MOU may be established with the mutual consent of both countries. Existing bilateral efforts may also be included as part of the cooperation described in this MOU, with such mutual consent.
Cooperation under this MOU may commence upon the date of signature and is not intended to give rise to rights or obligations under international law.