The U.S.-China EcoPartnerships Program
The EcoPartnerships program is an innovative manifestation of U.S.-China cooperation on energy and environmental issues. Established under the U.S.-China Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment Cooperation (TYF), EcoPartnerships establish formal collaboration between U.S. and Chinese stakeholders who work on clean energy and sustainable development. Eighteen partnerships already share best practices on preventing air pollution, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, protecting water resources, developing technology for electric vehicles, increasing energy efficiency, and safeguarding natural habitats. The designation of this year’s six new EcoPartnerships is a prominent element of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
What are EcoPartnerships?
EcoPartnerships encourage environmental action at the state and local levels, mobilizing investment from the private sector and leveraging limited federal capital to produce meaningful results.EcoPartnerships bring together experts and innovators fromU.S. cities, states, companies, universities, and NGOs, and their counterparts in China to work together, exchange best practices, and find solutions to local challenges, often producing benefits that will be felt across both societies and may be replicable elsewhere.
EcoPartnerships are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and leverage significant outside investment in environmental action by our partners. Each dollar of U.S. government investment leverages outside investments manifold.
The core of the EcoPartnerships program is the peer-to-peer collaboration that occurs at the partner level, facilitated by a Secretariat in each country. The Secretariats are staffed by subject matter experts,representing a wealth of technical and market expertise, and are supported by Advisory Committees established in each country to select new EcoPartnerships annually.
Todate, EcoPartnerships have made important strides, such as finding new sources of energy efficiency for our largest utilities (Duke Energy-ENN), increasing the energy efficiencyof our ports (Seattle-Dalian) andcreating more sustainable communities (Greensburg-Mianzhu), more accountable greenhouse gas emissions (Center for Climate Strategies-Global Environment Institute), and more environmentally friendly cars (Ohio State-Hefei University).
- This year, six new EcoPartnerships have been chosen:
Coca-Cola and the Yangtze River Delta Circular Economy of Technology will form a partnership to research and develop a way to use agricultural waste to produce Coke's plastic bottles. By 2020, the Coca-Cola Company aims to use this PlantBottle technology (already available in the market place in 25 countries) for all of its plastic bottles in China, greatly reducing Coke's greenhouse gas emissions. The project is expected to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in the United States and China, use previously unused agricultural waste, create jobs for farmers in China and the United States, and bring more sustainable plastic bottles into use around the world.
New York Institute of Technology and Peking University are leading a consortium that includes the International Society for Water Solutions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Wuhan University, and industrial partner HDR|HydroQual to develop and deploy tools that enable effective detection, protection, and monitoring of groundwater resources. The aim is to empower communities in arid regions in China better to site wells that can be utilized in a sustainable fashion and ensure a safe drinking supply.
Stony Brook University and Tongji University (Shanghai) will jointly test a suite of cutting-edge landfill-gas-to-liquids technologies to produce alternative fuels compatible with existing distribution systems and develop a business case for deploying these resources in viable landfills in both countries. Following pilot demonstrations at a major landfill in China and a major landfill in the United States, the partners will create and share an educational tool and video to empower relevant stakeholder groups to leverage this technology.
Raven Ridge Resources and Guizhou International Cooperation Center for Environmental Protection seek to unlock the Chinese market for draining and utilizing coal mine methane, which can reduce a powerful greenhouse gas, improve mine safety, and provide a source of energy. The work leverages the brand of the EcoPartnerships program to garner the attention and endorsement of local officials and industry to foster several high profile demonstrations.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Beijing Energy Conservation and Environment Protection Center (BEEC) will partner to address energy efficiency and demand-side management of energy load to make the grid “smarter.” This partnership will help to synchronize U.S. and Chinese grid policies, developing the pre-conditions for clean energy to integrate into the grid in a more robust way.
Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) will form a partnership to establish a network of low-carbon “champions,” to help translate national-level clean energy policies into local action. Benefits of this EcoPartnership include: synchronizing U.S. and Chinese low-carbon development policies, aligning of Chinese national policy and Chinese local action, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in China, and promoting higher technical capacity for low-carbon development in the United States.
For more information, please visit: http://ecopartnerships.lbl.gov/