Institute for Sustainable Communities Launches $4 million U.S.-China Partnership Chinese government delegation will visit Vermont on October 20to tour energy-efficient facilities and sign an agreement with ISC.ISC’s program will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Guangdong province, China’s ‘Factory to the World.’Montpelier, Vermont, October 20, 2008- Officials from the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission are in Vermont today to sign an agreement with the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which has launched a $4 million U.S.-China partnership to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the southern province of Guangdong.Leveraging the best resources and expertise from the United States and China, ISC’s Guangdong Environmental Partnership is designed to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental health in the heavily industrial province. The program works at four levels-business, government, communities, and schools-to spark a wave of change in environmental and energy-efficiency practices. It is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, GE Foundation, Citi Foundation, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Honeywell Corporation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, through a public-private partnership.”The Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission is pleased to be working with the Institute for Sustainable Communities on this important partnership,” said Bi Zhijian, vice director general of the commission. “Addressing environmental challenges and reducing energy intensity levels are important priorities for the Guangdong government and, while we are making progress in addressing these issues, we welcome international cooperation and assistance.”Often called the factory to the world, Guangdong province is the same geographic size as New England with seven times the population (100 million-about 2.5 times more people than California). The region has more manufacturing jobs than the United States and its factories make a significant contribution to global green house gas emissions, acid rain, and other pollutants. The region, which suffers from frequent energy shortages, has made a significant commitment to improving energy efficiency.”This is precisely the kind of partnership-working across sectors, disciplines and nations to address the critical sustainable development challenges of our time-that I envisioned when I established ISC in 1991,” said Madeleine Kunin, the former governor of Vermont. “We are proud to leverage Vermont’s leadership and energy expertise in the global arena.”The Chinese delegation will spend two days in Vermont meeting with organizations and agencies involved in various energy efficiency programs, including Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The delegation will also visit Canada, New York City, and Miami, Florida.”If the world is going to make any progress in improving resource efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing climate disruptions,” said George Hamilton, president of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, “nonprofits, agencies, universities, and businesses from the U.S. and China must work together more effectively.” He added, “I look forward to achieving some very exciting results with the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission and all of our U.S. and Chinese partners.”The delegation is led by Bi Zhijian, vice director general of the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission (GETC), and includes Xie Shichao, director of the Department of Environment & Resource Conservation at GETC; Huang Xiaoqun, director of Guangdong State Tax Bureau; Zhang Na, vice-section chief, Department of Environment and Resource Conservation; Li Bianzhuo, president, Guangdong Association of Resources Comprehensive Utilization; and Wang Cailian, vice-director, Guangdong Energy Saving & Circular Economy Promotion Center.*Founded in 1991 by former Vermont governor Madeleine M. Kunin, the Institute for Sustainable Communities has managed 70 projects in 18 countries. ISC, which is led by George Hamilton, brings 18 years of experience in helping communities address major challenges. ISC’s China program consists of four mutually reinforcing components:BUSINESS: Environmental Health and Safety Academy. Based at Lingnan University College of Sun Yat-Sen University, the new academy will provide affordable, state-of-the-art training designed to save energy, reduce harmful emissions, and improve worker health and a safety conditions in Guangdong’s manufacturing enterprises. It will expand the pool of qualified EHS managers serving factories in Guangdong province and South China.GOVERNMENT: Environmental Governance. ISC is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide technical assistance and training to regional and local environmental authorities on strategies to encourage more effective monitoring and compliance — as they staff up to manage a number of new laws and regulations.COMMUNITIES: Community-Based Energy Efficiency. ISC is working with three demonstration municipal districts and townships to demonstrate how communities can design and implement comprehensive energy efficiency program – with a particular emphasis on public facilities and small factories.SCHOOLS: Education for Sustainable Development. Working in local schools, ISC is developing courses on resource efficiency and environmental health for children ages 9-13-and involving the public, community and business leaders, and education administrators in their hands-on learning. Partners include South China Normal University, Vermont’s Shelburne Farms and LEAF in Japan.###
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