On June 23, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang chaired two high-level events to strengthen joint efforts on climate change: a public dialogue - “Act on Climate: Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Celebration of Energy and Environment Cooperation” - moderated by Chairman of the Paulson Institute Hank Paulson; and a private Joint Session on Climate Change.
Additionally, the United States and China demonstrated progress by announcing over 50 outcomes reflecting concrete cooperation on climate change and clean energy, a number of them developed through the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG). The CCWG was launched by Secretary Kerry and State Councilor Yang in 2013, and it is the premier mechanism for U.S.-China cooperation and dialogue on climate change.
In November 2014, President Obama and President Xi made a historic Joint Announcement on Climate Change, establishing ambitious, respective climate pledges and committing to work together, and with other countries, to achieve a global climate agreement in Paris this December and a long-term transition to low-carbon economies. The United States and China this week highlighted ongoing cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to address global climate change at the seventh U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).
In its soon to be released annual report, the CCWG highlighted, among other outcomes: an announcement of a Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit to be held this fall in Los Angeles; a cooperative work plan on Smart Infrastructure for Urbanization; a U.S.-China “Race to Zero Emissions” electric bus program; a bilateral, industry-led working group to develop pilot projects demonstrating deep energy efficiency retrofits in industrial and commercial buildings; and a Phase 2 industrial boiler emission control program. In addition, two new joint carbon capture, utilization, and storage pilot projects were announced on June 22 at a CCWG event celebrating the role of the private sector in developing and deploying climate mitigation technologies. The two sides also decided to launch a new initiative on Green Ports and Vessels.
Preceding the S&ED, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern held an enhanced policy dialogue on June 22 with his counterpart, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs Xie Zhenhua, to advance discussions on an ambitious and durable global climate agreement in December 2015.
This is the third Joint Session on Climate Change that Secretary Kerry and Secretary Lew have co-chaired at the S&ED. It builds on discussions in 2012, 2013, and 2014, as well as visits to China by both principals. Secretary Kerry made his fifth trip to China in May.