US to share lessons with China on pollution reduction

Updated: 2013-12-03 10:24


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WASHINGTON -- US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday the United States could share its experience with China in how to reduce air pollution.

McCarthy, who is expected to head to China next week, said China's air pollution challenges bore some similarities to what happened in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.

"We know the technologies that are available. We know what planning can do. We know that there are many ways in which you can engage your states and, in China's case, provinces, to bring a sense of urgency to this issue. And we are going to be working with them on these air quality challenges moving forward," she said at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress in Washington.

"So our goal in making this trip to China is to continue to support them in meeting their air pollution challenges," she said.

In April, China and the United States agreed to launch a working group on climate change and work closely to reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases that flow through refrigerators and air conditioners.

McCarthy said the agreement on HFCs is "a good first step commitment" and that the two countries are exploring opportunities for more cooperation.

"One of the reasons to get together is to look at what we've done over the past three years and set a course for the next couple. We have been working with China on a range of things -- black carbon, methane, as well as other traditional pollutants and CO2," she said.

"So I am really excited to be going back to China," McCarthy said. "We do share the same level of concern about a changing climate. And I think that we are well positioned to begin work together in a new depth and a more concerted effort to move forward to really build on what I think of as 30 years of significant cooperation and partnership between our countries already."