On 20 June 2023, on the occasion of the German-Chinese Intergovernmental Consultations, the 11th Sino-German Forum on Economic and Technological Cooperation (FWTZ) took place in Berlin. In addition to the main forum, two workshops on green transformation of the industry & energy sector supported by the Sino-German Energy Partnership took place. At the end of the forum, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change and the green transformation. This article highlights key takeaways from this high-level political and economic exchange and their implications for the energy sector.
Political agreement: closer GER-CHN cooperation on climate change
During the main forum, Dr. Robert Habeck, Minister of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK) and Mr. Zheng Shanjie, Director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the PR China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which makes clear that both countries intend to work closely together in the fight against climate change in an extended climate and transformation dialogue. The MoU contains eight fields of action for cooperation, including the key field of the decarbonisation of industry, the expansion of renewable energy sources, the circular economy and the issue of sustainable financing. With this memorandum, both countries acknowledge that they have a special responsibility to take climate action and achieve the 1.5-degree target. They reaffirm the need for visible progress in climate change mitigation, particularly during this decade, and for this purpose intend to increase efforts and use and expand existing cooperation formats. Led by both ministers Habeck and Zheng, there will be an annual high-level forum, tasked with tracking and coordinating joint developments.
Discussion of challenges and potentials: two workshops on green transformation
Prior to the main forum, two parallel workshops on green transformation took place and emphasized the need for improved and new technologies as well as good regulatory framework conditions. Stakeholders and experts from the government and private sector discussed challenges and needs for a successful green transformation of the industry and energy transition. Here, the importance of smart policies, closer international standard cooperation as well as the development of more efficient and new technologies (e.g., carbon capturing) and new concepts (‘carbon circular economy’) was stressed. The GIZ-implemented Sino-German Energy Partnership supported the organization of the two workshops by inviting experts from their broad network of stakeholders.
Chinese delegations accompanied to site visits to learn about innovative energy solutions
On the sidelines of the FWTZ, the Sino-German Energy Partnership supported two Chinese delegations led by NDRC and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) accompanied by research institutes, associations, and energy companies for visits of innovative green energy sites. The green research and business campus EUREF in Berlin received both delegations and showcased its innovative and sustainable energy solutions, such as an integrated multi-energy station. The Frankfurt Airport Group (Fraport) received the delegation from NEA led by Chief Engineer Mr. Xiang Haiping. Mr. Xiang and the delegation had a discussion with Fraport on their supply and utilization of renewable energy and visited the airport’s vertical photovoltaics (PV) project.
The launch of the climate and transformation dialogue is a strong signal that China and Germany acknowledge their special responsibility to take climate action and the need for visible progress in mitigation measures. This dialogue and cooperation mechanism will draw on and expand existing formats to increase efforts. The two workshops on green transformation organized by the GIZ-implemented Sino-German Energy Partnership (EP) emphasized the need to work closely together on international standard development, innovative and sustainable energy solutions and smart policies. Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has more than 10 years of expertise of bringing together German and Chinese stakeholder from the public, private and research sector under the Sino-German Energy Partnership (previously energy dialogue), to support both countries green energy transition. For any questions or requests, please contact Ms. Yuxia Yin (yuxia.yin(at)giz.de).