Strengthening US-China Relations to Better Protect the Global Environment
This week Administrator Jackson went to China to strengthen US-China relations and explore new avenues of cooperation in environmental protection. On Sunday, October 10, she met with the head of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, Minister Zhou Shengxian. The meeting came as China and the U.S. celebrate 30 years of partnership under their first environmental protocol. During their meeting, Administrator Jackson and Minister Zhou signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming their historic alliance.
“The United States and China have enjoyed a strong relationship and achieved significant progress in our nearly 30-year partnership on environmental protection. As we celebrate our shared successes, this is a good time for us to also evaluate our collaboration, identify emerging priorities, and sharpen our focus on building a prosperous and healthy future,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The global environmental community has learned much in the last 30 years, and MEP has many accomplishments worth recognizing. I look forward to enhancing our collaboration and am proud to renew this historic connection today.”
Working Together for Clean Air
On Monday, October 11, Administrator Jackson joined China’s MEP Minister Zhou to open the sixth annual International Regional Air Quality Management Conference in Beijing. At the conference, the Administrator credited China’s long history of ingenuity and innovation, as well as the strong leadership of Minister Zhou, with setting China on a path towards cleaner, healthier air.
Integrating our pollution reduction efforts can be a more cost-effective and efficient path to success than dealing with these challenges alone. Through our nation’s strong partnership with China over the years, we’ve already seen many improvements that have helped both our countries understand the environmental and economic costs of air pollution. By continuing and strengthening this partnership we can learn together new methods to clean up the air we breathe. Administrator Jackson expressed her desire to continue working with China to achieve cleaner air, fight climate change, and save money through energy efficient measures.
Speaking with Tomorrow’s Leaders
On Tuesday, October 12, Administrator Jackson held a town hall meeting with the students at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou Province. Administrator Jackson praised the University, founded in 1924 by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, as a “beacon of progress and opportunity.”
After speaking about EPA’s international priorities, Administrator Jackson challenged the next generation of innovators and environmental stewards to continue the strong environmental partnership between the U.S. and China:
“You are the young men and women who will live side by side in the global community with the generation of young Americans growing up today…When I think of what your future holds, I know it is a future you share with my two sons and every young American.
“In that future, our two nations will be brought even closer together through technological advances. It will be a future full of mutual economic and environmental opportunities. And – to be sure – it will be a future with shared challenges. China and the United States must face those challenges together – as technical leaders, domestic stewards, and global standard bearers – just as we have for the last three decades. Now is the time for us to work together to advance innovation, protect human health, ensure the prosperity of our people for future generations, and take steps that will not only safeguard each of our country’s welfare but protect our planet as well.”