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China, California extend climate change collaboration

By LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-04-20 10:09

Leaders from China and California have renewed an agreement to continue their partnership to fight for climate change.

During a virtual meeting on Monday, China's Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu and California Governor Gavin Newsom renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that advances ongoing initiatives to protect the environment and promote clean energy development.

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who serves as Newsom's representative for international affairs and trade development, as well as senior climate officials from California and China, were also in attendance, according to a statement from the governor's office.

"California is a global leader in combating the climate crisis while growing our economy, but we can't tackle this existential challenge alone," Newsom said in the statement.

He added that the MOU "deepens California's strong climate and clean energy ties with China, bolstering our efforts to expand clean transportation, achieve carbon neutrality, and accelerate nature-based climate solutions".

The two sides vowed to continue their collaboration in areas such as reducing carbon emissions, implementing emissions trading systems, increasing the usage of electric vehicles, expanding markets for clean energy technologies; protecting biodiversity through nature-based solutions and sharing research findings on climate change, according to the MOU.

They will share experiences on policies and programs; organize annual meetings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions and training, as part of the agreement.

Louise Bedsworth, executive director at the Center for Law Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley, told China Daily that "it is incredibly exciting" to see China and California extending their collaborative efforts on climate change.

"This MOU is an important milestone for demonstrating California's and China's continued commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience, and improve public health. The MOU provides a roadmap for action and we are looking forward to working with California and China to support its implementation," said Bedsworth, who also serves as a senior adviser to the California-China Climate Institute.

The agreement, effective for four years, renews a prior version signed by former California Governor Jerry Brown in November 2018.

Brown has been instrumental in building a partnership between California and China on climate change. In 2017, he announced an agreement between China and California to work together to reduce emissions. The pact came less than a week after President Donald Trump said the US was leaving the Paris climate accord.

After retiring as governor, Brown launched the CCCI to foster cooperation and advance joint research on low carbon technology in the battle against climate change.

The institute, which is at UC Berkeley, will serve as California's primary liaison for information sharing and communication under the MOU.

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