BEIJING (Yonhap) -- The United States and China on Tuesday kicked off eight joint projects to reduce greenhouse gases, committing to work together in fighting the disastrous effects of climate change despite their differences on diplomacy and security in this region.
U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy on climate change, Todd Stern, and Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, oversaw the signing ceremony for the joint projects at the China Hall of Science and Technology in Beijing, on the eve of high-level talks between the two nations.
The projects involve private companies such as Guangzhou Midea Hualing Refrigerator Co. and Quzhai Cement Co., as well as U.S. government organizations including the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
The joint projects "highlight the U.S.-China climate change cooperation beyond their governments," Stern told the ceremony, describing the initiative as a "positive element for U.S.-China relations."
Xie said the U.S. and China "should deepen our bilateral cooperation on all of these areas."
One of the projects is aimed at enabling Guangzhou Midea Refrigerator to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, or "super greenhouse" gases, according to a statement issued by the two nations.
The U.S. and China, two of the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming, have agreed to closely work together on concrete steps against climate change, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit emissions.
Among the areas of cooperation agreed on are reductions in vehicle emissions, smart grids, and the utilization and storage of strong carbon emissions, the statement said.
"We now must implement those agreements," Stern said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will hold the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with their Chinese counterparts on Wednesday in Beijing.