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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 20 September 2012

The European Union and China join forces to address environment, urbanisation and climate change challenges

Today Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce of the Republic of China, signed a financing agreement promoting the environment, transition towards a low-carbon economy and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in China.

Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said: "Today's agreement with China is a concrete example of how we can work in partnership to tackle global and shared challenges. We commend China's commitments and we'll support their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to make cities cleaner and to better manage water, waste and heavy metal pollution. The EU has a solid experience in the fight against climate change and the path towards a green economy that we're happy to share. The results of these projects will benefit all of us and contribute to our common objective: a sustainable development of the planet."

Climate Action Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, said: "Today's agreement is an important step for an ever closer cooperation towards a robust international carbon market. Needless to say that it makes a significant difference when now also China wants to use carbon markets to reduce emissions cost-effectively and boost low-carbon technologies. Our joint commitment to carbon markets shows the potential and benefits of smart climate policies. This is a huge opportunity to modernise our economies, stimulate growth and create jobs in new dynamic industries with innovative technologies and clean energy".

The EU will help China in meeting its environmental, energy- and carbon-intensity targets and in the long run, contribute towards achieving a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The EU support will result - through pilot projects - in providing technical assistance, training and fostering exchanges of experience, best practice and know-how in areas like the low-carbon economy and the green economy. The three projects -for which the EU contribution amounts to €25 million- will be implemented over a period of 4 years and focus on areas like water, waste and heavy metal pollution, emission trading system (ETS) and sustainable urbanisation.

Details of the projects

• The first project is to support the Design and Implementation of Emissions Trading Systems in China, set up in order to assist China in its efforts to meet its emission reduction targets and boost low carbon development; designing and implementing successful emissions trading pilot programmes that lead over time to effective, nation-wide action.

• The second project is to assist Chinese cities in adopting energy and resource- efficient ecological solutions by sharing experiences on sustainable urbanisation and other relevant policies between Europe and China. One of the key results of the project will be the setting-up of an ICT-based knowledge platform to encourage continued sharing and dissemination of knowledge and information, including best practice and case studies, as well as to facilitate networking and cooperation between key Chinese and European urban institutional and civil society actors, especially at the local level.

• The third project aims to encourage the Chinese authorities in their efforts to achieve environmental sustainability by reducing water and heavy metal pollution and implementing sustainable waste treatment policies.

For more information

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG (section on education):

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)

Stephanie Rhomberg (+32 2 298 72 78)

Isaac Valero Ladron (+32 2 296 49 71)

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