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China, US to Jointly Address Climate, Energy, Environment Challenges

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China and the United States pledged on Tuesday to step up efforts to address global challenges including climate change, energy and environment, as they concluded their first round of Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).

In a joint media note, the two countries said they face common challenges and share common interests in combating global climate change, developing clean and efficient energy, protecting the environment and ensuring energy security.

"The two sides commit to respond vigorously through ambitious domestic action and recognize that cooperation between China and the United States is critical to address these challenges," the note said.

The two sides negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, led by the Department of State and Department of Energy in the United States and the National Development and Reform Commission in China.

The MOU aims to promote discussion on domestic strategies and policies for addressing climate change, practical solutions for promoting the transition to low-carbon economies and successful international negotiations on climate change.

It also calls for joint research, development, deployment and transfer, as mutually-agreed, of climate-friendly technologies, the raising of public awareness and pragmatic cooperation on climate change between cities, universities and provinces and states of the two countries.

The two sides are committed to the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to achieve a successful outcome in Copenhagen at the end of this year, calling to carry out the Framework for 10-Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment (TYF) signed in December 2008.

The two sides decided to continue practical cooperation within the Oil and Gas Industry Forum, the Energy Policy Dialogue and the new China-US.

Clean Energy Research Center and hold relevant meetings at appropriate times this year.

On the issue of pandemic and infectious disease outbreaks, the two sides expressed their willingness to continue collaboration.

They also intend to further enhance dialogue and cooperation on other critical global issues, such as strengthening global institutions and governance, addressing public health challenges and poverty alleviation around the world, in order to promote the well-being of mankind and global sustainable development.

During the two-day dialogue, officials from China and the United States held face-to-face plenary session addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic and economic interests.

The new mechanism was upgraded from the previous Strategic Dialogue and the biannual Strategic Economic Dialogue, which were initiated by the two heads of state in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2009)