On May 7th, 2020, the 10th Sino-German Working Group Meeting on Environment and Climate took place in a virtual format. The Chinese side was represented by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Ministry of Commerce (MofCOM) and the National Energy Administration (NEA). From German side, representatives of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) participated.
Dr. Kasten SACH, Director General of International, European and Climate Policy at BMU, as well as GUO Jing, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation at MEE, both highlighted the importance of the bilateral partnership as a main platform between China and Germany regarding the cooperation in the context of the environment and climate policy.
The political agreement on bilateral cooperation projects in the framework of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) was one of the main issues discussed. The projects politically agreed on the cooperation between Germany and China on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) implementation, the continuation of the Sino-German Climate Partnership and a long-standing cooperation on Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS), which will expand their focus on reducing industry-related N2O emissions. The start of the project implementation is foreseen before the end of 2020.
It was emphasized that the cooperation on environment and climate policy between Germany, the EU and China is of special importance for the success of international climate and bio-diversity cooperation. “Both countries show progress and face challenges, so mutual best practice exchange and learning is the goal,”, said CHEN Zhihua, Director of the Division of International Cooperation and Exchange at the Department of Climate Change of the MEE.
Regarding options for future bilateral cooperation, the strategic importance of the Sino-German Environmental Partnership (SGEP) was highlighted and both sides agreed to develop a proposal for the next phase of the project, with the idea to explore the possibility of cooperation for the sustainable development of national park systems and natural protected area management. Furthermore, energy and green finance were discussed as important future cooperation areas in the context of climate policy and sustainable finance.
As the first virtual Sino-German Working Group Meeting, the discussion was deemed very fruitful, while both sides agreed that for even better communication the digital infrastructure should be improved.