History of EcoPartnerships
The roots of the EcoPartnership program extend to the founding of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in September 2006. By prioritizing issues of mutual concern in the broader context of our bilateral economic relationship, the SED has given direction and created momentum for the many existing bilateral mechanisms we use to foster cooperation between our two nations. SED conferences have historically been held bi-annually, with locations alternating between the US and China.
In June, 2008, at the fourth meeting of the SED in Annapolis, Maryland, the United States and China signed a Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework (TYF), which set goals and established concrete action steps. The Cooperation Framework was structured to foster extensive collaboration over a ten year period to address the interlinked global challenges of environmental sustainability, climate change, and energy security.
In December 2008, during the fifth SED in Beijing, the United States and China signed the Framework for EcoPartnerships Under the US-China Ten Year Framework for Cooperation on Energy and Environment (EcoPartnerships Framework). The EcoPartnership Framework was aimed at developing new models of mutually beneficial voluntary arrangements between like-minded organizations at the sub-national level, to promote energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability in both countries. The first EcoPartnerships were launched in December 2008.
In November 2009, President Barack Obama of the United States and President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China signed the U.S.-China Joint Statement in Beijing, China. The two sides agreed that the transition to a green and low-carbon economy is essential and that the clean energy industry will provide vast opportunities for citizens of both countries in the years ahead. Both countries welcome the opportunity to take significant steps forward on climate change, energy and the environment. The leaders’ announcement built on the U.S.-China Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment, announced during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in July 2009.
In May 2010, at the second joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Beijing, the United States and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Implementation of the Framework for EcoPartnerships (the EcoPartnerships Implementation Plan). This Implementation Plan stipulates key policies and procedures of the EcoPartnerships program, including the management framework, selection standards and procedures for new EcoPartnerships, public outreach, and mechanisms for the program.