EU and China agree climate change partnership

The EU has agreed a Partnership on Climate Change with China as part of the China-EU summit.

Clean coal technology and renewable energy form the basis of the EU-China Partnership on Climate Change signed this week

Clean coal technology and renewable energy form the basis of the EU-China Partnership on Climate Change signed this week

It aims to promote clean energy sources, energy efficiency and conservation, and the development and demonstration of 'zero emissions' clean coal technologies based on carbon dioxide capture and storage.

The Partnership contains two concrete co-operation goals to be achieved by 2020. Firstly to develop and demonstrate, in both China and the EU, advanced zero-emission coal technology and secondly to significantly reduce the cost of key energy technologies and promote their deployment and dissemination.

It will also support EU and Chinese efforts to reduce the energy intensity of their economies.

China has recently set the goal of halving the energy intensity of its economy by 2020, while the European Commission has proposed reducing Europe's energy consumption by 20% over the same period.

These efforts will be strengthened through the involvement of the private sector, bilateral and multilateral financing instruments, and the promotion of joint ventures and public-private partnerships.

The Partnership also reinforces cooperation on the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol and foresees a dialogue on the future development of the CDM post-2012.

The agreement has been broadly welcomed by environmental groups. "It is a very welcome signal that both China and the EU recognise climate change as a key geopolitical issue and are ready to take concrete action to reduce its threats," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of the global WWF Climate Change Programme.

"Unlike the recent Asia-Pacific pact with the United States and other countries, this agreement includes policies, markets and technologies which should lead to real and significant action."

A WWF statement also says that the agreement is important because "it is firmly placed in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and future international climate negotiations."

The agreement should also significantly bring down the costs of energy technologies by 2020. China is estimated to be investing ¬1.5 trillion in its power sector by 2030.

WWF is now calling on India, which is holding a summit meeting with the EU this week, to step up to the mark and make a similar climate deal.

David Hopkins



Waste & resource management
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