U.S. and China Extend 32-Year Agreement to Cooperate in Science and Technology

by Suzanne Giannini-Spohn

Last year – the 30th anniversary of the 1980 signing of the first US-China Science &Technology agreement on environmental cooperation – EPA joined China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in celebrating 30 years of cooperation, and to jumpstart that celebration, this past October Administrator Jackson and her Chinese counterpart signed a renewal of our cooperative agreement.

Over the years, we have achieved many things together, including important advances like addressing the hole in the ozone layer and removing harmful lead from gasoline. As the world’s two largest economies, America and China have a chance address ongoing and emerging national and international environmental challenges. Issues like clean drinking water, healthy air, reduced exposure to toxic chemicals, improved management of electronic waste, and yes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Throughout the years we have worked collaboratively to better understand, manage, and improve air quality which has helped officials in China address regional air quality issues and achieve cleaner air through integration of air quality management approaches into national guidance and upcoming revisions to China’s Air Pollution Control Law. We have also supported China’s adoption of its first series of regulatory guidance, provided direct long-term cleanup field assistance using U.S.-developed technology to reduce dioxins emissions from cement kilns, and helped China implement its first-ever PCB soil remediation project.

US EPA and China MEP have been partners for 30 years, and we are thrilled that our partnership can only grow stronger through the January 19th extension to the US-China Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology. The newly extended agreement will continue decades of cooperation in areas such as agricultural science, high-energy physics, clean energy, and biomedical research.

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About the Author: Suzanne Giannini-Spohn is China Program Manager in EPA’s Office of International & Tribal Affairs. She has worked with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and other organizations to implement EPA environmental cooperation projects since 2000. In 2008, Suzanne received EPA’s National Honor Award, the James W. Craig Pollution Prevention Leadership Award, for her work on preventing pollution from cement kilns in China.

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