On July 10, 2013, the U.S. State Department announced a new U.S.- China agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution through five new initiatives:

  • Reducing GHG emissions from heavy-duty and other vehicles;
  • Overcoming barriers to wide-scale deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) by implementing several large-scale, integrated CCUS projects in the U.S. and China;
  • Increasing energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and transport, with an initial focus on promoting the energy efficiency of buildings, including through the use of innovative financing models;
  • Improving GHG data collection and management; and
  • Promoting the development of smart grid systems that are more resilient, efficient, and incorporate more renewable energy and distributed generation.

The initiatives were developed by the U.S.-China Working Group on Climate Change and presented in a report during the first day of the fifth annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue being held in Washington, D.C. The Working Group will partner with private sector and NGO stakeholders to prepare implementation plans for the five initiatives by October 2013.

The agreement follows President Obama's announcement last month of an ambitious second-term climate change agenda that includes bilateral and multilateral cooperation on GHG reduction. It also builds significantly upon recent progress in climate change negotiations between the U.S. and China, which together account for approximately 40% of global carbon dioxie emissions. Just last month, President Obama and President Xi of China agreed to phase-down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) through the Montreal Protocol as well as other multilateral approaches.