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The EcoPartnerships Program is Bringing the US and China Together to Work for the Environment

U.S. and China cooperation on environmental and sustainability issuesThrough the EcoPartnerships Program, the US and China are working together to address common environmental problems. The EcoPartnerships program brings together American and Chinese entities from the public, private, and civic sectors to create mutual economic and environmental benefits.

The US Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) and its Chinese counterpart are joining the US-China EcoPartnerships Program. The signing ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 10 in Washington, D.C.

The US BCSD is a business association that provides opportunities for its members to work on sustainability projects with industry, governmental and other key stakeholders to generate economic returns while improving the environment and society. The Chinese BCSD is a coalition of leading Chinese and foreign enterprises that promote sustainable development activities focused on corporate social responsibility, environmental protection, and clean production.

The American and Chinese business councils for sustainable development are part of a network of 60 national business councils worldwide associated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a global network of 200 international companies with members drawn from 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors.

The EcoPartnerships Program strengthens the bilateral business partnerships between the US and China. The program is part of the US-China Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment, which was approved in Beijing in 2008. The program links stakeholders from the public, private, and civic sectors across the US and China to solve environmental and energy challenges and address climate change while at the same time promoting economic growth.

Under the EcoPartnerships Program, stakeholders will collaborate on seven major fronts:

  1. Clean Air: This plan includes US-China collaboration on sulfur dioxide emission trading in the power industry, control of vehicle emissions, regional air quality management, control of nitrogen oxide emissions, and control of ozone and particulates. For more information click here.
  2. Clean and Efficient Transportation: This plan involves collaboration on developing non-petroleum alternative fuels, promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in civil aviation, improving traffic management and policies, transportation infrastructure, and planning, as well as achieving efficient and sustainable transportation development. For more information click here.
  3. Clean, Efficient, and Secure Electricity Production and Transmission: This plan facilitates bilateral cooperation on electricity generation and transmission with an emphasis upon diversification. Additional collaboration may include renewable and alternative sources of clean energy, cleaner fossil fuel, power grid and the electricity market, and nuclear power. For more information click here.
  4. Clean Water: This plan encourages collaboration on water quality management, safe drinking water, and prevention and control of pollution from agriculture and rural areas. For more information click here.
  5. Energy Efficiency: This plan furthers cooperation in the fields of energy auditing, public financing mechanisms, and energy efficiency in building technologies. For more information click here.
  6. Nature Reserves: This plan promotes best practices for enhancing nature reserve management, improving habitat conservation, managing protected areas, strengthening scientific collaboration, and conserving endangered species. For more information click here.
  7. Wetlands Conservation: This plan fosters collaboration on best practices in wetland policy, monitoring, management, and scientific research, and helps build the capacity of each country to protect these crucial areas. For more information click here.

The EcoPartnerships program provides opportunities to test and demonstrate the policies, technologies, and new approaches. Many of these plans will facilitate policy, technical, and commercial innovations, which may include the development, commercialization and deployment of energy and environmental technologies and best practices. These plans may also include new financing approaches for energy efficiency and a system that allows companies from diverse industries to work together to match their underutilized waste streams with potential users at other facilities.

The EcoPartnership Program encourages US and Chinese governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to share best practices, foster innovation, advance energy security, promote economic growth, and work towards environmental sustainability. The program is a model for cooperation that benefits the planet, people and profits.

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Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, green investor and author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, enviro-politics and eco-economics. He is the owner of THE GREEN MARKET, a leading sustainable business blog and one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. Find Richard on Facebook and follow The Green Market’s twitter feed.

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