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International Partnership Event in China Builds Momentum to Fight Climate Change - Methane to Markets Expo in Beijing Showcases 91 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Opportunities


The Methane to Markets Partnership Expo in Beijing this week has attracted more than 700 participants from 34 countries, demonstrating widespread international interest and commitment to a growing public-private partnership that cuts potent greenhouse gas emissions while promoting the use of clean energy.

The expo, which began on Tuesday and runs through Thursday, is being co-hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and supported by several key international public and private-sector organizations.

“The Bush Administration knows the challenge of global climate change is exactly that – global,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “America is committed to being a good international neighbor, and together with our partners, we are working toward a cleaner, healthier, more productive world.”

The expo features an “International Methane Capture Marketplace,” the first international forum devoted to the promotion of methane recovery-and-use projects. The marketplace is showcasing 91 potential projects in the agriculture, coal, landfill, and oil and gas sectors that promise to deliver significant clean development and climate change benefits throughout the world. These projects will capture and utilize methane as a clean energy source. If fully implemented, these projects are estimated to yield annual methane emissions reductions of 11.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2015.

“The Methane to Markets Expo is an important meeting held for the first time in China,” said Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of NDRC. “It will promote technical and economic cooperation in the realm of methane emission reductions among all countries. It will provide more financing channels and technical support, and accelerate development of methane recovery and utilization.”

The expo also provided the opportunity for EPA to announce a grant competition that will begin in the next few weeks, providing up to $7 million for international projects and activities to advance recovery and use of methane.

In addition, EPA announced that it is working with China to conduct a coal mine methane capture-and-use feasibility study in 2008. This is a first step toward the U.S.-China goal of establishing 15 coal mine methane projects as a part of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). The SED, established in September 2006, provides a framework for the United States and China to discuss ways they can work together to address economic challenges and opportunities. The coal mine study will support the Methane to Markets Partnership and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

The expo is the largest Methane to Markets event to date. The Methane to Markets Partnership was founded by the United States and 13 other countries in 2004, and focuses on advancing cost-effective, near-term capture and use of methane from agricultural operations, underground coal mines, landfills, and natural gas and oil systems. A primary component of natural gas, methane is a greenhouse gas over twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere; methane is also a valuable clean energy resource. As of 2007, a total of 20 developed and developing countries and the European Commission have joined the partnership, and more than 640 private sector and non-governmental organizations have signed on to participate in project-investment and project-development activities.


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