WASHINGTON: China and the United States signed the memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on climate change, energy and environment on Tuesday when their first round of Strategic and Economic Dialogue ended.
“This agreement is a positive outcome of this round of the S&ED,” State Councilor Dai Bingguo told reporters after Vice-Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua and US Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern signed the memorandum.
Climate change, energy and environment have topped the agenda of the strategic discussions between China and the US during their two-day dialogue.
“The Chinese government has attached great importance to cooperation with the US on the issues of climate change, energy and environment as they are the common challenges they face,” Dai said.
Despite differences between the two countries in terms of stage of development, historical responsibilities and respective capacities, China and the US still need to enhance cooperation.
“We need to take a strategic and long-term view on China-US cooperation in this area guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities,” Dai said. “We can handle our commonalities and differences well.”
China and the US started their scientific cooperation in 1979 when signing their first agreement on science and development.
“This memorandum builds on the past efforts and highlights the climate change,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. “It creates a platform for bilateral climate policy dialogue and cooperation.”
The agreement is believed to chart the roadmap for the two countries to cooperation on the issues of climate change, energy and environment. This will herald the beginning of the joint efforts by the two countries’ to develop the low-carbon economies.