Northwest Asian Weekly
On the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Port of Seattle, SSA Marine, the City of Tacoma, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced on Dec. 15 an innovative partnership to develop energy efficient and environmentally sustainable ports.
“Thirty years ago, the United States and China began diplomatic relations that continue today,” said Cantwell. “Since then, our two countries have become the two largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters in the world. This new partnership will establish a model of how our two countries can work together to improve the world environment and our economies at the same time.”
At the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing on Dec. 4, a framework agreement and statements of intent were signed creating seven ecopartnerships under the U.S.-China Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environment Cooperation.
One of these ecopartnerships is between the Port of Seattle and Dalian Port Cooperation in Liaoning, China. The partnership between two of the world’s largest sea ports will be a global model for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
The ecopartnerships are voluntary, cooperative partnerships between U.S. and Chinese entities including local, state, or provincial government-to-government partnerships, and partnerships among businesses, universities, and nonprofits.
Ecopartnerships were created to encourage governments at various levels to assess and create favorable policy environments, which provide incentives for industry and individuals to engage in energy efficient behavior, develop new and renewable energy sources, develop clean transportation systems, protect forests and wetlands, and also to build capacity for the promotion of sustainable development.
Cantwell has been a leader in urging the U.S. to expand clean energy cooperation with China. Cantwell believes such efforts are in the strong interest of both nations to become more energy efficient, utilize and develop clean energy technologies, and work to significantly reduce pollution, while at the same time promoting regional economic development and increasing competitiveness. ♦