Philadelphia, July 28, 2014 – A new agreement signed earlier this month will promote urban sustainability in Philadelphia through a partnership between delegates from Greater Philadelphia and the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) of Philadelphia’s sister city Tianjin, China. The partnership will focus on clean energy innovation for cities prioritizing green building efficiency, online monitoring systems for electricity usage and wetlands water sustainability.
“This partnership combines the experience and innovation of our leading companies, entrepreneurs and university-based researchers and applies them to market opportunities developing at scale and speed in China through Tianjin’s massive Binhai project,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “Our participating companies and research institutions benefit through project-based access to a broad array of trade, investment and research opportunities. Simultaneously, Philadelphia and our sister city, Tianjin, are able to advance an economically-meaningful international collaboration which can help both – and ultimately others – become greener cities.”
Signed in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in the Great Hall of the People on the final day of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue talks in Beijing, the agreement was one of six collaborations awarded U.S.-China EcoPartnership status at the this year’s U.S.-China high-level talks. The U.S.-China EcoPartnership program is an annual competition run jointly by the U.S. and Chinese governments to elevate successful sub-national cooperation models to international prominence, and by doing so, to spur broad replication by their peers in the U.S. and China.
The three year PHL/TEDA Urban Clean Energy EcoPartnership is the latest outcome of a three-year joint effort by the City of Philadelphia, led by Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger and the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (CPGP), founded by Merritt T. (Terry) Cooke. Following Deputy Mayor Greenberger’s trip to Tianjin and China in late 2010, Cooke formed CPGP as an open, peer-platform for businesses, local government, universities and other non-profits to collaborate on clean energy and environment opportunities with China under the Ten Year Framework signed by former Secretary of State Clinton in July 2009. In 2012 and 2013, Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Tianjin’s Mayor Huang brought back-to-back delegations on first-ever visits to their respective sister cities. In October 2013, TEDA brought a major trade delegation to Philadelphia to meet with local businesses and to lay the groundwork for this joint PHL/TEDA three-year EcoPartnership collaboration.
“Our PHL EcoPartnership with TEDA gives our region’s businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers direct access to trade and investment opportunities with the Tianjin-Binhai New Area,” said Terry Cooke. “This low-carbon mega-city – replicating the scale of Pudong’s and Shenzhen’s earlier development – is fast emerging as the world’s number one urban, clean-energy showcase. Through our EcoPartnership’s open collaboration platform and our innovative Sustainability Alliance Program with Ben Franklin Technology Partners and White & Williams, we’re tapping our region directly into this national-level growth engine in China. And, as one of just 24 bi-nationally awarded EcoPartners since 2009, we’re doing so as a recognized sub-national leader in U.S.-China environmental sustainability.”
The U.S. side of Greater Philadelphia’s EcoPartnership with TEDA is organized as a public/private partnership between the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department and the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia, a 501c3 non-profit organization formed in 2011 to assist the 11 counties of Greater Philadelphia access trade and investment opportunities associated with the Ten Framework for U.S.-China Cooperation in Energy & Environment (2008-18).
The PHL/TEDA Urban Clean Energy EcoPartnership was selected from a competitive application process and was one of six signed last week in Beijing. Launched in 2008 and headed by the U.S. Department of State in the U.S. and by the National Development and Reform Commission in China, the EcoPartnership program promotes cooperation between local governments and organizations in the U.S. and China in climate and energy issues.