On 11 June 2020, the Sino-German Climate Partnership conducted a webinar where it released guidelines on developing and implementing “Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans” (SECAPs). These guidelines are targeting Chinese cities as part of the project’s efforts to promote integrated planning of climate action and a low-carbon energy transition at the municipal level. The publication includes a methodology that has been established and is being applied in Germany and provides guidance on key steps – namely, status quo analysis, methodological target setting, development of measures for different sectors, engagement and management of stakeholders and cross-departmental cooperation. Moreover, the guidelines discuss how this methodology applies to the circumstances of Chinese cities. To make the content more tangible, the document also contains numerous best practice examples from German cities.
The webinar featured expert contributions by representatives of the two organisations that were strongly involved in developing the guidelines: Ms Li Ang from the Chinese think tank innovative Green Development Program (iGDP) and Mr Bernd Franke of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (ifeu). Ms Li Ang stated that while there are differences in urban governance between China and Germany, when it comes to integrated planning, they are outweighed by shared commonalities. Therefore, she concluded, the Guidelines can give many valuable impulses to Chinese cities. Mr Franke introduced the SECAP development and implementation methodology as described in the guidelines, using many depictions from the Guidelines. He also illustrated his talk with examples from German cities. Furthermore, Mr Xu Mingchao of the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) introduced the status quo and challenges of integrated energy planning in China.
Participants also had the opportunity to pose questions, which they made good use of. One important question was where the difference between integrated energy plans and integrated climate plans lies. All experts agreed that they are “twins” of sorts – while they focus on different aspects (energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, respectively), both ultimately lead to better climate protection, and need to refer to each other.
The guidelines were developed in cooperation with the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership, which also supported the organization of the webinar.
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