July 30, 2019
Remarks by Acting Director Raymond Greene
At IEP South and Southeast Asia – Air Improvements
in the Region Annual Meeting
Tuesday, July 30
Minister Chang, distinguished guests, good morning! It is my pleasure to join you for the opening session of the SSEA-AIR annual meeting. It’s great to see so many environmental experts and leaders from around the region here in Taiwan today for this important event.
The United States and Taiwan have a long history of cooperation, not just in environment but also in health, science, technology, and many other fields.
As some of you may know, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of AIT and the Taiwan Relations Act. AIT is celebrating the many positive aspects of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship through our year-long “AIT@40” campaign. Each month we have been highlighting a different aspect of our partnership.
This December will be the AIT@40 Environment Month, where we focus on all the progress we have made together in the environment field.
One of the milestones of our partnership was the launch in 2014 of the International Environmental Partnership, or IEP. The IEP has created a platform for the United States and Taiwan to provide technical assistance and pursue greater cooperation with countries in Asia and around the world.
Under the IEP, the United States and Taiwan have led regional efforts to promote environmental education and to tackle air and mercury pollution, electronic waste, and environmental law enforcement challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plays a central role in this program, and I want to thank the U.S. EPA officials here today for their support.
Taiwan has had tremendous success addressing environmental challenges, making it one of the most livable places in Asia. But that success is not limited to Taiwan’s domestic environment only. Taiwan has the vision, leadership, and generosity to share its best practices with the world.
SSEA-AIR is a perfect example of this commitment. SSEA-AIR was designed to help countries across the Indo-Pacific improve their technical capacity to reduce air pollution. This is the second annual meeting for SSEA-AIR, and we are pleased to see the momentum it is generating.
As you all know, air pollution does not respect borders. Cooperation among environmental authorities is essential if we are serious about solving this global problem. When we help each other by sharing our experiences and success stories, we can better respond to the threat that air pollution poses to our health and the health of our children.
Again, I am pleased to be here to witness our cooperation enter this exciting new phase. Thank you all for your contributions to this important initiative. I wish you a productive set of meetings this week.