SHENZHEN, CHINA - Moving to further strengthen California's ties with China, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols and Director of the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission Xu Anliang signed a memorandum of understanding today in Shenzhen that will expand cooperation at the subnational level to tackle global climate change.
The agreement builds on the significant diplomatic and business exchanges between California and China over the past year and a half, including the Governor’s Trade and Investment Mission to China in April – which featured a visit to Shenzhen and Governor Brown's meetings with President Xi Jinping earlier this month and last February .
Under today’s agreement, California and Shenzhen have agreed to work together to share policy design and early experiences from their climate trading programs, in order to build strong, stable and growing markets for clean energy technology and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Chairman Nichols was invited by the Mayor of Shenzhen to participate in the inauguration today of China’s first Emissions Trading System (ETS). The event, which represents an important milestone in China’s efforts to combat climate change, included a national conference attended by China's national leaders on climate change, including Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Minister Xie Zhenhua. Leaders of the seven provinces and cities hosting China's first ETS pilots also attended this conference, together representing over 200 million Chinese residents.
“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.“
The collaboration will focus on building effective systems for data gathering, emissions verification, market monitoring, compliance and enforcement. Additionally, California and Shenzhen agree to monitor and share the best available climate and pollution-related science and research. The goal is to use the data to identify and evaluate additional policies, including performance standards, and to support low-carbon economic growth and reduce toxic air pollution.
During the Governor’s visit to Shenzhen in April, he discussed joint action on climate change with Shenzhen Party Secretary Wang Rong and toured Shenzhen-based electric vehicle and battery technology company, BYD. The Governor also signed the first agreements ever between a subnational entity and China’s Ministries of Commerce and Environmental Protection during the trip.
While in China Chairman Nichols will also meet with representatives of the national government to discuss follow-up actions to Governor Brown's April trip to China and his recent meeting with President Xi. Areas of discussion will include next steps to share information on the most successful approaches that have been developed to control climate change and air pollution.
CARB is the lead agency in California for cleaning up the air and fighting climate change to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through the effective reduction of air and climate pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.