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European Commission


Brussels, 19 July 2013

Joint Statement on enhanced Environmental Policy Dialogue and Cooperation on Green Growth

Zhou Shengxian Minister of Environment Protection of the People’s Republic of China, and Janez Potočnik European Commissioner for Environment met in Beijing on 19 July 2013 for the EU-China Environmental Policy Dialogue.

They exchanged views on the latest progress in the field of environmental protection and acknowledged respective efforts to address key global environmental challenges.

They discussed how to properly handle the relationship between economic growth and environmental protection. Minister Zhou outlined how the concept of ecological civilisation would guide work in the new era and the three priorities of China's current environmental policy, including air pollution prevention and control with focus on control of PM2.5 , water pollution prevention and control as well as environmental protection in rural areas with drinking water safety as the focus He expressed gratitude for the effective and constructive work of the European colleagues during the visit of MEP delegation to the European Commission in early 2013 in order to exchange views on PM2.5 governance. He introduced briefly the new policy measures in order to address environmental problems in China.Commissioner Potočnik described the progress in Europe towards a resource efficient economy.  He said that business and industry would largely be in the forefront in bringing about Green Growth through a resource efficient, circular economy. He noted that the European Union had clear strengths in eco-industries and this too could be an opening for further co-operation with China.

Recognising the importance of maintaining a regular policy dialogue and noting the role played by bilateral co-operation on environment in advancing the EU-China strategic partnership, they agreed to strengthen the policy dialogue and to make bilateral co-operation more pragmatic and effective by engaging and mobilising businesses to also contribute.  They also agreed to improve the implementation of the existing cooperation projects including the EU- China Environmental Governance Programme, and to work together to start new projects including the EU-China Sustainability Programme.

Both sides:

  • Reviewed bilateral co-operation since the dialogue was launched in 2003, welcomed the progress to date, and acknowledged the 2012 EU-China Summit commitment that China and the EU would redouble their joint efforts to tackle global challenges including … sustainable development  and environmental protection. 

  • Undertook to strengthen co-operation in the framework of multilateral environmental agreements with a view to achieving global environment goals on biodiversity, chemicals including mercury and waste. They also agreed to enhance bilateral co-operation on biodiversity and ecosystems conservation, in particular on the valuation of ecosystem services, natural capital accounting and innovative financing mechanisms.

  • Recognised the need for continual and dedicated efforts to boost sustainable resource productivity and efficiency as ways of safeguarding the environment.

  • Agreed to work together towards the promotion of more sustainable consumption and production patterns both in the context the bilateral relations and globally.

  • Reaffirmed the commitment to promote cooperation on the flagship initiatives on environment developed respectively by China and EU, with a view to maximizing the mutual synergies between the China's ecological civilization construction and the European Union's resource efficiency agenda and with a view to supporting global sustainable development.

  • Recognised the urgent need for concrete solutions to address the pressing challenge of air pollution in urban areas, and agreed to continue the exchange of experiences with a view to identifying and adopting efficient policy responses.

  • Agreed to officially launch the EU-China Sustainability Programme, as one of the major outputs of the Fourth EU-China Ministerial Environmental Policy Dialogue, with appreciation of the joint efforts on both sides.

  • Agreed to establish an Environment Forum to address specific topics of mutual interest. The Environment Forum would convene every two years, involve stakeholders and business and would bring a new dimension to the partnership.  The first Forum is scheduled to take place in 2014 in Brussels, with the theme on Green Growth. The Forum's findings/outcome will be presented to the Ministerial Dialogue.

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