Canada-China environmental cooperation

Official title: Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of the Environment of Canada and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China Concerning Environmental Cooperation

Subject category:
Environmental Cooperation
Type of agreement / instrument:
Memorandum of Understanding
  • Signed on April 16, 1993 with China’s National Environmental Protection Agency (now called the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China).
  • Renewed in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2017.
  • Effective for a period of five years and will be automatically renewed for another five years.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China (prior to March 2018 known as the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China)
Global Affairs Canada; Other Canadian and Chinese Departments
For further information:
Web links:
Embassy of Canada to China
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
February 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

The Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Environmental Cooperation was signed in Beijing in December 2017. It establishes a forum for ongoing cooperation and action concerning environmental protection and sustainable development. Under the MOU, the two sides will develop bilateral policy dialogues and cooperative activities in areas such as air quality, water, soil, chemicals management, management of environmental emergencies, environmental enforcement, biodiversity conservation, protected areas, green growth and development. A Ministerial-level Dialogue on the Environment has been established by the two sides. The outcomes of the Dialogue provide direction to the collaboration implemented under the MOU.


To promote Canada-China cooperation on environmental protection and sustainable development, so as to protect the health and wellbeing of the people and the environment of both countries.

Key elements

To implement this MOU, the two sides will build partnerships and facilitate dialogues through the development of communications, cooperation and networks between environmental protection agencies, organizations and enterprises in their respective countries.

A Ministerial-level Dialogue on the Environment is established to facilitate discussion and exchange on bilateral policy issues, global trends and emerging issues related to environmental protection. In addition, biennial cooperative work plans are developed through the bilateral DG-level Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation (JCEC) on areas of mutual interest.

Expected results

Expected results include sharing of best practices and expertise to improve the protection of the environment in both countries.

Canada’s involvement

Environment and Climate Change Canada has a longstanding and successful history of cooperation with China dating back to mid-1980s on environmental issues of mutual interest.

The Department has collaborated with China on a number of issues relating to environmental protection and pollution prevention.

Engagement with China is a key component of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s mandate to protect and enhance the quality of Canada’s natural environment, as environmental issues are not confined to political boundaries.

Results / progress


Since the renewal of the MOU in December 2017, the relationship between ECCC and MEE (formerly MEP) has resulted in the undertaking of many collaborative activities.

The 10th meeting of the JCEC took place in Vancouver, Canada in March 2018, which featured three thematic workshops on air quality, chemicals management, and gender mainstreaming in environment and climate change. In the meeting, the two sides approved the biennial bilateral work plan outlining cooperation activities for 2018 to 2020, in the areas of air quality, biodiversity, chemicals management, water management, clean technology, and gender.

In addition, the second Ministerial Dialogue on the Environment was held in Beijing in November 2018, on the margins of the China Council annual general meeting (AGM).

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