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EU, China to work together on green growth

Date
22 July 2013
EU, China to work together on green growth

LONDON: Environment ministers from China and the EU met in Beijing last week, to reinforce bilateral cooperation on accelerating green growth and tackling climate change.

Zhou Shengxian Minister of Environment Protection of the People’s Republic of China, and Janez Potočnik European Commissioner for Environment, met in Beijing for the EU-China Environmental Policy Dialogue on July 18.

According to a joint statement the ministers discussed the opportunity of green growth to pair economic growth and environmental protection, with Minister Zhou focusing on the urgent need to reduce China’s air and water pollution and Minister Potočnik outlining the EU’s resource efficiency drive. He said the efficiency work has been widely supported by industry, and is an area that could hold opportunity for Chinese business.

Sustainability partnership

An EU-China strategic partnership was agreed to bolster future environmental policy dialogue, as well as drive the inception of new projects including an EUR10 million EU-China Sustainability Programme. It was also agreed that existing projects such as the EU-China Environmental Governance Programme should be implemented.

The joint statement released after the visit outlines commitments from both sides, including:

  • Agreement to work together towards the promotion of more sustainable consumption and production patterns – both bilaterally and globally
  • Recognizing the urgent need for concrete solutions to air pollution in urban areas, exchanging experiences and adopting policy responses
  • The establishment of an Environment Forum to take place every two years to address specific topics of mutual interest, starting in Brussels in 2014 with a Green Growth theme

Better future for all

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, said: “As this Beijing dialogue shows, securing a low carbon future is at the top of Chinese leadership’s agenda -- and it must remain so if China is to sustain its rapid economic growth and address its current environmental, social and energy security challenges.

“The next decade could see China truly leading a global Clean Revolution, but it cannot do it alone; China simply must collaborate with other governments. Working with the EU will boost the necessary bilateral and international grasp of urgent action, to ensure a better, cleaner, more prosperous future for all.”

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By Clare Saxon

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