U.S. and China Announce Joint Climate Change Working Group for Strategic and Economic Dialogue

The U.S. and China pledged to boost cooperation on climate change in a Joint U.S.-China Declaration on Climate Change signed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Saturday April 13 in Beijing.

Noting the “overwhelming scientific consensus regarding climate change,” the joint announcement acknowledges that “the increasing dangers presented by climate change measured against the inadequacy of the global response requires a more focused and urgent initiative.” Therefore, the issue of climate change will be elevated at this year’s Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), scheduled to be held July 8-12 in Washington D.C.

In preparation for the S&ED, the two nations will begin immediate collaboration on a Climate Change Working Group “to determine and finalize ways in which they can advance cooperation on technology, research, conservation, and alternative and renewable energy.”

The working group will take stock of existing collaborations and potential to enhance those efforts, and will identify new initiatives “for concrete, cooperative action to foster green and low-carbon economic growth, including through the use of public-private partnerships, where appropriate.” The work will be led by Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change and Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission. Findings will be presented at the S&ED in July.

In remarks after the signing of the declaration, Secretary Kerry called the elevated attention to climate change “a very significant step and significant message.” Councilor Yang said “it is encouraging to see the Chinese and American business communities and people from various sectors being so enthusiastic about cooperation in this area.”

For further analysis of this document, see “How the U.S. and China Are Reinvigorating the Battle Against Climate Change” by ChinaFAQs Expert Barbara Finamore.

Image credit: U.S. Department of State