Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment


Karen Mok, WUSICE China Liaison


The Governments of the United States and China established the Ten Year Framework (TYF) for Cooperation on Energy and Environment in June 2008. The Framework facilitates the exchange of information and best practices between the two countries to foster innovation and develop solutions to the pressing energy and environment problems both countries face. In July 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Chinese State Counselor Dai Bingguo participated in the initialing of the Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and Environment , which further elaborated the role of the TYF and established a new dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change. The most recent meeting of the TYF Joint Working Group occurred May 11-12 in Washington, DC.

U.S. agencies involved in the Framework include the Departments of State, Energy, Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Trade Development Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Participating agencies for China include the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Forestry Administration, the National Energy Administration, and the Ministries of Finance, Environmental Protection, Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs. The lead agencies for each country implement the TYF, including the following action plans on electricity, water, air, transportation, wetlands, nature reserves and protected areas, and energy efficiency.

  • Clean Air: This plan includes U.S.-China collaboration on sulfur dioxide emission trading in the power industry, control of vehicle emissions, regional air quality management, control of nitrogen oxide emissions, and control of ozone and particulates.
  • Clean and Efficient Transportation: This plan involves collaboration on developing non-petroleum alternative fuels including biofuels, promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in civil aviation, improving traffic management and policies, transportation infrastructure, and planning, as well as achieving efficient and sustainable transportation development.
  • Clean, Efficient, and Secure Electricity:This plan facilitates bilateral cooperation on electricity generation and transmission with an emphasis upon diversification. Additional collaboration may include renewable and alternative sources of clean energy, cleaner fossil fuel, power grid and the electricity market, and nuclear power.
  • Clean Water: This plan encourages collaboration on water quality management, safe drinking water, and prevention and control of pollution from agriculture and rural areas.
  • Energy Efficiency:China and the United States recently approved this action plan to further cooperation in the fields of energy auditing, public financing mechanisms, and energy efficiency in building technologies.
  • Protected Areas/Nature Reserves: This plan promotes best practices for enhancing nature reserve management, improving habitat conservation, management and restoration of protected areas, strengthened scientific collaboration, and conservation of endangered species.
  • Wetlands Conservation: This plan fosters collaboration on best practices in wetland policy, monitoring, management, and scientific research, and helps build the capacity of each country to protect these crucial areas


In addition, seven public-private partnerships, known as “EcoPartnerships,” contribute to the Framework’s goals, with new partnerships being planned in the future. EcoPartnerships promote further collaboration at the sub-national level, as well as between the private and public sectors. As the EcoPartnerships program expands, it will encourage U.S. and Chinese governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to share best practices, foster innovation, and further sustainable economic development.

In the most recent TYF Joint Working Group meeting, the two sides exchanged views on emerging issues that might warrant future inclusion in the TYF, including green growth.


For more information about the Ten Year Framework’s Action Plans and the EcoPartnership program, including information about the potential role for local and regional governments, research institutes, nongovernmental organizations and businesses, please visit the following websites:



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