China and the EU forge ahead with 'green growth' collaboration, agree new low-carbon city pilot in Tianjin

25 November 2013

LONDON: One of China’s largest cities, Tianjin, and European business and public sector network Climate-KIC, have agreed to work together on an innovative low carbon city pilot.

Mary Ritter, CEO, Climate-KIC, and Tianjin City’s Hexi District Mayor Peng San, signed a statement of intent in Beijing last week, in the presence of China’s Premier Li Keqiang and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, during the EU-China Summit. This was the first summit the EU has held with the new Chinese leadership, one of the central themes of which was 'green growth'.

The two plan to develop a low carbon city project called JiefangNan Rd New Meijiang in Tianjin, which is the fourth biggest city in China. It is hoped the pilot, which will include green building retrofits and smart city system installations, will help accelerate the region's low carbon economy.

Mary Ritter said: “It is very exciting for Climate-KIC to establish a collaborative relationship with one of China’s most dynamic cities – to develop projects at the heart of the city’s sustainable development challenges. I am sure Climate-KIC’s community will learn a lot from collaborating with our colleagues in Tianjin. Chinese cities are on the frontline in facing the combined challenges of climate change, sustainable development and demographic change. How China urbanizes in the coming decades is critical for China and the wider world.”

The partnership is underpinned by an agreement between China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, which is within the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership.

The EU and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now the EU's 2nd trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China's biggest trading partner; China and Europe now trade well over €1 billion a day.

President Barroso said in a statment for the EU-China Summit: "This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership with China. In these last 10 years, the world has changed and China and the European Union have been driving forces behind this change. I look forward to meeting the new Chinese leadership to take stock of our common achievements and project our relations for the next decade. Green growth in a safer world will be the dominant theme of this summit and will become the motto for our future cooperation. We are and we will remain important to each other's prosperity. The EU is China’s biggest economic partner, with almost half a trillion euros' worth of trade between us last year. Launching investment agreement negotiations will be a new chapter in our work, boosting jobs and growth in ours' economies. But we are also global partners and we will discuss ways to contribute to regional and global stability as well as strong, sustainable and balanced growth".

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