Building on California’s growing relationship with China, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined China’s top climate official, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua, to sign a first-of-its-kind agreement on climate change between the NDRC and a subnational entity. The NDRC oversees China’s efforts to address climate change and much of the government’s economic strategy.
“The fact that the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China is entering into an agreement with one of the fifty states reflects the important position of California not only in the economy, but in science, technology and climate change initiatives,” said Governor Brown before signing today’s agreement. “I see the partnership between China, between provinces in China, and the state of California as a catalyst and as a lever to change policies in the United States and ultimately change policies throughout the world.”
The MOU seeks to enhance cooperation through a range of activities, including:
• Mitigating carbon emissions;
• Strengthening performance standards to control greenhouse gasses;
• Designing and implementing carbon emissions trading systems;
• Sharing information on policies and programs to strengthen low carbon development;
• Exchanging personnel and jointly organizing workshops and training; and
• Researching clean and efficient energy technologies.
This agreement builds on more than a year and a half of significant diplomatic and business exchanges between California and China, including the Governor’s Trade and Investment Mission to China, the opening of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai and a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. Partnership on climate change was one of many subjects the Governor discussed with President Xi and a key component of the trade mission, which included a meeting with officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and remarks on climate change at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In June, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols also traveled to Shenzhen, site of China’s first carbon trading program, to pledge cooperation on emissions trading.
Photo captions can be found below:
1.) Governor Brown meets with NDRC officials.
2.) Governor Brown and Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua (left) sign MOU.
For high resolution copies of these photos, please contact Danella Debel, Office of the Governor at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.
Photo Credit: Brad Alexander, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The agreement, signed today, is copied below:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO ENHANCE COOPERATION ON LOW CARBON DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Low Carbon Development is entered into by the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and the State of California of the United States of America (California) and hereafter jointly referred to as the “Parties,” in order to strengthen and coordinate efforts to combat global climate change, promote clean and efficient energy and support low carbon development, while protecting public health, the environment and natural resources.
Article 1 Areas of Cooperation
The Parties agree to cooperate in the following areas, on the basis of the principle of equality and mutual benefit:
• Activities to mitigate carbon emissions while enabling sustained economic growth;
• Activities to strengthen performance standards within various economic sectors to control carbon, methane and other high global warming potential gases while enabling economic growth;
• Activities to implement carbon emissions trading systems and other market-based instruments;
• Activities that strengthen support for low carbon and ETS pilot programs;
• Activities that reduce energy consumption among industrial, commercial, and residential buildings;
• Activities that increase the usage of electrified transportation;
• Activities that support new and expanded markets for clean and efficient energy technologies, including within energy-intensive industries and transportation;
• Activities that support joint-ventures, partner-agreements, and capital investments in the design, construction and operation of clean and efficient energy and infrastructure projects; and
• Other mutually agreed activities.
Article 2 Forms of Cooperation
Forms of cooperation may include the following and any other forms agreed to by both Parties:
• Sharing information and experiences regarding policies and programs to strengthen low carbon development across economic sectors;
• Sharing policy design of carbon emissions trading programs;
• Inviting the other Party to advise on program and policy design and rule-making processes that it developed;
• Exchanges and temporary assignments of personnel from one of the Parties to the other;
• Cooperative research on clean and efficient energy technologies, including developing shared research, development and deployment projects;
• Joint organization of symposia, seminars, workshops, exhibitions and training; and
• Any other mutually agreeable forms of cooperation that contribute to the purpose of this MOU.
Article 3 Implementation
The Parties shall, on a regular basis, inform and consult with one another on matters of common interest that represent opportunities for mutual benefit consistent with this MOU.
In order to explore specifically how to collaborate through the framework of the MOU, the Parties agree to form an MOU Implementation Taskforce, co-chaired by the Director General of the Department of Climate Change for the NDRC side and the Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to the Governor for the California side. Additionally, NDRC will be represented by the Director General of the Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, Director General of the Energy Research Institute and Director General of National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, and California will be represented on this taskforce by the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Chairman of the California Air Resource Board, and Chair of the California Energy Commission.
The Taskforce will coordinate the implementation of this MOU, as appropriate, with other agreements between entities in California and the People’s Republic of China, and will meet in person once annually and by video or telephone conference as often as necessary.
Article 4 Duration, Termination, Modification This MOU will remain in effect for two years from the date of its signature by the parties and may be amended and/or extend its effective term as agreed by the Parties in writing.
Either Party may withdraw from this MOU after 45 days written notice to the other Party.
The present MOU is signed in San Francisco, California on September 13, 2013 in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua
FOR THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA