Speakers of the T2D Event Photo Credit: GIZ
The Launch Event of the Sino-German Track II Dialogue (T2D) on Climate Change and Sustainable Development took place on 3rd of December. Track II diplomacy is based on expert dialogues and complements the official government dialogues and procedures (T1D). T2Ds ensure continuous communication and exchange between participating countries. They underpin the political dialogue with science-based exchanges in order to converge at a technical level. The Sino-German T2D provides the opportunity to exchange and learn from each other, but also to discuss what to achieve together.
The event was held in a hybrid format with participants in China meeting in person and participants in Germany joining virtually. The core teams leading the T2D include the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) on the Chinese side, and the German Environment Agency (UBA) on the German side. NCSC and UBA were supported by the GIZ Sino-German Cooperation on Climate Change (SGCCC) IKI projects.
The meeting was opened with video messages from Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China.
Opening Speech by Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) Photo Credit: GIZ
Opening Speech by Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China Photo Credit: GIZ
Subsequently, experts from Germany and China provided inputs on green recovery experiences and practice in both countries. Both, China and Germany are committed to decarbonizing their economies by mid-century. President Xi Jinping pledged at the United Nations General Assembly carbon neutrality before 2060, while Germany’s target is climate neutrality by 2050. Green recovery responses to the COVID-19 pandemic economic downturn provide us with an opportunity to steer investments towards a low carbon transformation of all sectors.
It is essential for both countries to phase out fossil fuels whilst at the same time expanding renewable energies and improving energy efficiency, electrifying the economy, decarbonizing heavy industry, developing a hydrogen economy, green finance and investment, ecological conservation, restoration and valuation, research and development but also overall lifestyle changes. From a policy side, to achieve this, climate legislation, carbon pricing and other regulations, standards and infrastructure investments are needed.
Furthermore, it was discussed how a fruitful cooperation between China and Germany can also benefit or set examples for third countries. Both sides agreed to carry on joint technical work in 2021on mutually agreed topics.