EU and China step up climate and clean energy cooperation

In the margins of the G20 energy ministerial meeting in Beijing, where ministers adopted a communiqué recognising the key role of clean energy and energy efficiency in achieving the goals set at the Paris climate conference, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner MiguelArias Cañete announced a new emissions trading cooperation project and the agreement of a new EU-China Energy Roadmap. Commissioner Arias Cañete said: “As two of the world’s major economies, largest net energy importers, and biggest energy consumers, both China and the EU share many challenges and an increased responsibility to meet our common climate goals set in Paris. With emissions trading, clean energy and technology innovation at the heart of our new EU-China energy and climate partnership, both economies get ready to make the energy systems fit for purpose and reap all the benefits of the ongoing global clean energy revolution.” The new €10 million emissions trading cooperation project will build on the existing cooperation project which started in 2014 and supported the roll-out of seven pilot schemes across the country. The three-year project will start in 2017, coinciding with the launch of the nationwide carbon market in China. As well as addressing challenges related to the setting up of a national emissions trading system, the new cooperation project will also establish a regular dialogue to discuss developments on emissions trading in China and the EU. The project is a concrete action following the EU-China Joint Declaration on Climate Change in which the two sides agreed to enhance existing bilateral cooperation on carbon markets. The landmark EU-China Energy Roadmap constitutes a keystone in the overall strategic partnership between the EU and China as both transition to a low-carbon economy. The agreement lays the foundations for sharing best practices on energy regulation, demand and supply analysis, energy crisis, and nuclear safety, as well as grid design and the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid. Moreover, the roadmap looks to foster trade and investment in energy efficiency and renewables with the knock-on effects of boosting competition and lowering costs. It also aims to work together on promoting combined heat and power systems, expand the bio-gas sector and promote smart grids.