On 15th January, the Tsinghua University Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development together with the EU delegation to China co-hosted an event on the strategies being developed to set Europe and China on the path to low carbon development for 2050 and beyond.
Senior officials presented the European Commission’s proposal for the EU long term strategy, a vision for climate neutrality in 2050. This covers all relevant EU policy areas and its pathways are in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. This was followed by a presentation on China’s long-term low-carbon transition and discussion with leading Chinese experts, to share experience and insights into the development of the EU and Chinese long-term strategies, especially in the key sectors of energy, transport, industry and the role of land and agriculture. Discussion touched on issues of investment, technology, growth and development, the role of citizens and social fairness to ensure a just transition.
Professor He Jiankun, Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, said in his opening remarks “the European strategic long term vision sets a role model for other countries and provides valuable references and experiences to learn from. I praise the EU for taking the lead in the global climate governance.”
Director Artur-Runge Metzger, DG Climate Action, emphasised “the path to climate neutrality must be at the same time a path to enhancing prosperity and fairness.”
Megan Richards, Director for Energy Policy stated, “the clean energy transition is essential to tackling climate change and putting our economies on more sustainable paths. The EU is keen to share our approach and engage with other countries. We can work together with China on making the de-carbonisation pathways a reality.”
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which provides a global framework for transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, invites Parties to present long-term greenhouse gas development strategies by 2020. In November 2018, The European Commission published its proposal for the EU’s strategy and long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. China is also in the process of preparing its mid-century strategy
China and the EU, important partners in combating global climate change, face similar opportunities and many similar challenges in decarbonisation and have much to learn from each other in designing their long-term strategies.