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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 19, 2000
  1. The United States and China agree that meeting development needs in

a sustainable manner is one of the most important challenges of

the 21st century. They underscore the central role energy plays

in economic development, as well as the human health and environmental

risks associated with unsustainable use of energy and natural

resources. They note that the development and deployment of

cleaner and more efficient energy technologies will contribute

significantly to improving local air quality and protecting the

global environment. The United States and China recognize that

countries can achieve sustained economic growth while

protecting the environment and taking actions to combat climate change.

2. The United States and China note that their common desire to promote

clean energy and protect the environment has guided past cooperation

and joint initiatives. They accord high importance to the US-China

Forum on Environment and Development and commit to further their

cooperation in the fields of clean energy, environmental protection,

science and technology and commercial cooperation. The two nations

will also continue to cooperate on efforts to strengthen the Chinese

environmental regulatory regime to encourage pollution control

and abatement.

3. The United States and China recognize the potential of Chinese

accession to the WTO to broaden and accelerate the transfer

of environmentally-sound technologies, goods and services, thereby

advancing clean energy and environmental protection goals.

4. The two countries are taking many initiatives on their own to

mitigate the impact of energy production and use on the environment.

China plans to expand significantly the use of natural gas in

China's energy supply and increase the utilization of coalbed

methane and clean coal technologies. China also plans to

increase significantly the generation of power from renewable

energy sources. China's recent structural reforms and removal of

certain fossil fuel subsidies have already resulted in

economic and environmental benefits; further economic reforms

should result in additional environmental benefits.

5. The United States is committed to a clean energy future and to the

goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the United

States pursues a program of research and development, public education,

promotion of energy efficient products and practices, and targeted

tax incentives. Specific actions during the past year include issuance

by the President of an Executive Order mandating reduction in energy

use in federal buildings; issuance by the President of a directive

that sets a target to triple the use of bio-energy in the U.S.;

issuance by the President of a directive to reduce petroleum use in

the federal vehicle fleet; and establishment by the Department of Energy

of new goals to increase the share of U.S. electricity generated by

wind power.

6. The United States and China reaffirm their strong support for

international efforts to combat global climate change under the

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto

Protocol, in accordance with the principle of common

but differentiated responsibilities. The two countries express the

willingness to entertain new and creative thinking and approaches

to cooperation between developed and developing countries on climate

change. The two countries intend to work together and with other

countries toward early agreement on the elements of the Kyoto

mechanisms, including the Clean Development Mechanism, which

could offer opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation

between developed and developing countries. They recognize, in

particular, that the Clean Development Mechanism could provide

important opportunities for economic growth and environmental


7. China and the United States reaffirm their commitment

to sustainable management and protection of natural resources and

endangered species. China is taking aggressive steps to combat

deforestation, including banning of logging in southwest China

and an ambitious tree-planting and reforestation program in

the Yangtze basin, in the Beijing metropolitan area, and elsewhere.

The two countries have a long history of cooperation in this area,

and affirm their intention to work together to assure that any

increased trade flows will not undercut natural resource management

and species protection programs.

8. The United States and China believe that energy and

environment constitutes one of the most important areas of cooperation

between the two countries. The joint initiatives taken by the

two sides will give practical shape to that vision. By making

clean energy widely available through development and application

of new technologies and strengthening efforts to protect our

environment and this planet's biodiversity, China-US cooperation will

contribute in significant measure towards further securing the welfare

and quality of life of the peoples of the two countries. It

will also be a vital contribution towards preserving the riches of

our planet for future generations.