The second Steering Committee Meeting of the Sino-German Cooperation on Climate Change (SGCCC) took place on 24 March in a hybrid setting. The meeting served the exchange on the progress of the three SGCCC projects Climate Partnership, NDC Implementation, and ETS, Carbon Market Mechanisms & N2O Mitigation and aimed at making decisions about future implementation.
Mr.Philipp BEHRENS, the Head of Division International Climate Initiative (IKI) at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) was elected as Chair of the meeting. In his introduction, he referred to the challenging geopolitical situation in Europe and its repercussions on energy security and the international climate agenda. He underlined the importance of strengthening the IKI under the new German government and welcomed the continued fruitful cooperation between China and Germany in the field of climate action.
The round of presentations was opened with a summary of the recent developments of the Chinese national ETS: The launch of trading in July 2021 marked a milestone in the carbon market’s development and the completion of the first cycle (2019 to 2020 emissions) with a compliance rate of 99.5 % in December 2021 underlined its successful start. The national ETS now enters into its second compliance cycle and will aim at including further sectors and setting an allowance cap. To continue its support of the development of the national ETS, a cost-neutral extension of the project until February 2023 was agreed upon by the Chinese and German partners. Furthermore, both sides underlined their general support for the proposal of the new Sino-German Cooperation on Emissions Trading Systems, Carbon Market Mechanisms, and Non-CO2 GHG Mitigation project and announced to clarify final questions on the specific design of the project in follow-up meetings.
Following this input, the progress of the NDC Implementation project was reported. Even though due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project faced considerable challenges in the course of its initial implementation period, it has been able to progress successfully in its workstreams on national-level governance, mitigation in selected provinces, sectoral best practice, adaptation, legislation, and finance. In the subsequent debate on the future planning of the project, the German and Chinese partners agreed upon the election of Guangdong as the third partner province. Furthermore, it was decided to host a Flagship Event in the second half of 2022. The political decision on the selection of the second cooperation sector in addition to the already existing cement cooperation required further time due to the reshuffling of the German government and was postponed accordingly. Both sides agreed to continue the exchange in this regard following the meeting.
Finally, the Climate Partnership reported on its current status. In the subsequent debate between the partners, the project got the go-ahead to start interviews with the first third partner country, Thailand, in the Trilateral Cooperation work package. Furthermore, potential dates for the next Working Group Meeting were discussed. The steering committee decided that the Chinese side of the Track-2-Dialogue (T2D) will be funded by the Chinese partner in the future and that GIZ will continue its logistical support for the Chinese researchers. In the further course of the discussion, the German side underlined that it would highly welcome the extension of the cooperation into the field of supply chains. The Chinese side announced its withdrawal from the cooperation on F-gas as it lacked political competence in this subject matter.
Mr. CHEN Zhihua, Division Director of International Cooperation and Exchange at the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), concluded the meeting by underlining the fruitful and friendly cooperation of both countries and its importance in the global fight against climate change.