China, UK enter new green era

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (2nd R) shakes hands with Shanghai mayor Han Zheng (C) and watched by Chinese and British officials during a ceremony to acknowledge Britain's participation in the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, at the State Guest House in Shanghai, 19 January 2008. [Agencies]

China Daily, 21st January 2008

By Wang Zhenghua

SHANGHAI - China and Britain are entering a new era of partnership in environmental issues that goes beyond the existing ones in economy, culture, sports and science, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday.

Wrapping up his maiden visit to China as prime minister, Brown said the UK would provide 50 million pounds from an Environmental Transformation Fund to boost energy efficiency and clean energy projects in China.

The two countries will extend the European Union-China near-zero-emission coal program, with money from the fund, too, he said.

Brown visited a highly efficient gas-fired power plant in Beijing and studied the plans of an eco-city to be built near Shanghai to manifest his eagerness to team up with China to tackle global warming.

"We have entered a new era where there's a higher level of dialogue and cooperation," Brown told a press conference at Shanghai's Urban Planning Exhibition Hall.

"Today I want to mention that the higher level of cooperation is now existing... that is the environment.

"China and Britain now have a new era of cooperation that exists beyond the economy and cultural and sports activities and scientific cooperation. We are now entering this new era of environmental cooperation."

Dongtan eco-city will be built on Chongming island near Shanghai through a partnership that includes UK construction company Arup. Scheduled for completion in 2010, Dongtan will house 500,000 people and allow vehicles powered only by electricity or hydrogen to run on its roads.

About 90 percent of all wastes generated in Dongtan will be recycled or reused, and the eventual aim is to make it a zero-waste city.

Brown formally handed over Britain's acceptance letter to take part in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng.

Britain, which started the Expo trend, will have the Pavilion of Ideas, a fascinating cube with space-age lighting designed by Heatherwich Studio, as its national pavilion at the Expo.

Brown left for India yesterday morning on the second leg of his tour to Asia.

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