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California and Shenzhen, China Agree to Fight Climate Change Together

2013/6/19 12:25:58

California and Shenzhen, China Agree to Fight Climate Change Together

Political inertia from those opposed to implementing climate change control measures may be preventing the United States from doing more than it has, but, that doesn't seem to be a problem for California. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission to fight climate change together. The MOU was signed as Shenzhen launched its new cap and trade program, China's first carbon Emissions Trading System (ETS).

Shenzhen is the financial center of Southern China and was the country's first Special Economic Zone.

"Congratulations to Shenzhen for taking this important step forward today," said Nichols at the inauguration ceremony. "We are pleased to work with you in the effort to combat global climate change. The actions of states, provinces, and cities are creating a foundation that national and international action can spring from. We are blazing the trail."

Under today's agreement, California and Shenzhen agreed to share policy designs and early experiences, as well as the best available climate and pollution related science and research. Their focus will be on developing data gathering, emissions verification, market monitoring, compliance, and enforcement systems. Additionally, California and Shenzhen hope to encourage low-carbon economic growth and reduce toxic air pollution.

Nichols was in Shenzhen at the invitation of Shenzhen's Mayor and was a follow up to last month's visit to China by Governor Jerry Brown, who discussed joint action on climate change with Shenzhen Party Secretary Wang Rong.

Today's signing took place as part of a national conference of Chinese leaders representing over 200 million Chinese citizens. Attendees included Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Minister Xie Zhenhua and leaders of the seven provinces and cities that will be part of the ETS pilot project.

California has already implemented its own climate change regulations, including a carbon trading/auction system started last year. Additionally, it has sought to partner with other states and countries, including the Western Climate Initiative - an organization formed by seven states and four Canadian provinces.

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