Thursday, December 21, 2006

EPA, China & Asia Agree to Cooperate on Environment

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, left, signed a Statement of Cooperation with the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Beijing. This agreement will support the development of cap and trade mechanisms, the use of economic and market tools to address environmental issues, and the strengthening of SEPA's regional>infrastructure. China's rapid economic growth and urbanization have placed pressures on its environment. Large-scale investments will be necessary to improve air quality in major cities and towns, treat wastewater discharged into rivers and lakes, and provide safe drinking water supplies.

This trilateral collaboration leverages EPA resources and expertise to help China address environmental challenges. EPA and ADB currently have technical cooperation programs in China. In 2005, ADB approved about $1.5 billion in loans and $18.5 million in technical assistance to China. In December 2003, EPA and SEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding that included annexes on Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Pollution from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and other Toxic Substances. A fourth annex on Hazardous and Solid Waste was added during Administrator Johnson's first visit to China in April 2006.

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