Building a Green Digital Partnership between China and Europe Creating a New Future for Global Sustainable Development


TAICANG, China, Dec. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Green Sustainable Development Conference (2022) and China-EU High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development was held on December 10th-11th in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, to promote the ChinaEurope climate action and sustainable development cooperation. The conference was jointly hosted by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and the China Society of Industrial Economics, and organized by the China-EU Carbon Neutrality Cooperation Office (CECCO), the Center for International Economic and Technological Cooperation of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Under the theme of “Synergizing Green and Digital Transition & China’s Practice”,  the Conference launched the China-EU Carbon Neutrality Innovation Cooperation Pilot Projects, conducted themed discussions in the Symposium on “Digitalization Drives Green Sustainable Development” and China-Europe Carbon Neutral City Forum, and launched the “Earth Aspiration Action (E2A) Initiative”.

The Opening Ceremony was moderated by Mr. Zhang Ji, Chairman of China Society of Industrial Economics. Global climate pioneers and leaders of Chinese and European national or regional organizations attended the Conference. The speakers pointed out that China’s promotion of synergistic green and digital development has broadened the feasible pathway for the common challenges facing the world, and added new momentum to global sustainable development. They offered recommendations and suggestions of global cooperation mechanism featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, digital green partnership and alliance construction, and youth leadership support, etc.

Opening remarks by Mr. Xie Zhenhua, China's Special Envoy on Climate Change; Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of France, President of the Paris Climate Change Conference and former Prime Minister of France; Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive-Vice President of the European Commission; Ms. Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders and former Irish President; Ms. Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Vice President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge; Mr. Wang Chao, President of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Laurence Tubiana, CEO of European Climate Foundation; Mr. Zhang Ji, Chairman of China Society of Industrial Economics (Moderator)

Mr. Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change put forward proposals on systematic solutions to carbon neutrality, the mechanism for coordinated development of carbon neutrality and economic and social security, green investment and financing mechanism, and called on more ChinaEurope cooperation to tackle climate crisis.

Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of France, President of the Paris Climate Change Conference and former Prime Minister of France emphasized that the world needs to focus on strengthening global coordination, accelerating actions, improving financial support, and promoting fair transition in the post-Paris stage.

Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive-Vice President of the European Commission introduced the efforts made by the EU in promoting regional and global carbon neutrality cooperation, and put forward his expectation of deepening cooperation between China and the EU in relevant fields.

Ms. Mary Robinson, former Irish President explained the importance of China in the global response to climate change, the current status and prospects of ChinaEurope cooperation, and stressed the key role of civil societies.

Ms. Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Vice President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge pointed out the current challenges faced by the world in keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 degree, highlighted the urgency and importance of deepening ChinaSpain and ChinaEurope cooperation in areas of energy, water, and ecosystem.

Ms. Laurence Tubiana, CEO of European Climate Foundation stressed the importance of China-EU cooperation, pointed out the importance of private capital participation to address the huge financial gap in the global response to climate crisis, and reiterated expectations for strengthening global cooperation on green finance.

Mr. Wang Chao, President of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs put forward the suggestion of building sound and stable China-European relations: insist on the correct positioning of China-EU green relations based on mutual trust, deepen ChinaEurope practical cooperation on climate change with the orientation of development, and make full play of ChinaEurope people-to-people exchanges driven by means of innovation.

Keynote speeches were delivered by leaders of Chinese and European government agencies, think tanks and industrial associations at the Conference. They interpreted the strategic planning, local practices and industrial transition layout of synergistic green and digital transition, and emphasized the role of think tanks in serving green and digital transition and practical innovation.

Keynote speeches by Mr. Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology of China; Mr. Fang Wei, Deputy Governor of Jiangsu Province, China; Ms. Jennifer Morgan, Special Envoy for International Climate Action at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany; Mr. Zhang Chonghe, Chairman of China National Light Industry Council;, Mr. Zheng Xinli, Senior Expert of China-EU Carbon Neutrality Cooperation Office and Executive Chairman of China Green Sustainable Development Association

Mr. Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology of China introduced the exploration and achievements of the Chinese government in promoting green and low-carbon industrial transition, as well as the key strategic initiatives of deepening green and low-carbon industrial transition during the 14th Five-Year Plan. He proposed the future work focus of digital technology enabling green and low-carbon industrial transition and development via improving environmental benefits and strengthening carbon management, and put forward suggestions on further deepening synergistic green and digital transition in the future.

Ms. Jennifer Morgan, Special Envoy for International Climate Action at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany reviewed the outcomes of COP 27, introduced the key works conducted by Germany and the EU in addressing climate change, and put forward expectations for strengthening climate cooperation among the EU, Germany and China to promote global green and low-carbon development and transition.

Mr. Zhang Chonghe, Chairman of China National Light Industry Council suggested to deepen China-European cooperation by building “1.5 degree habitable cities” and conducting joint research and innovation, thus jointly promoting green low-carbon lifestyle and sustainable development.

Mr. Zheng Xinli, Senior Expert of CECCO and Executive Chairman of China Green Sustainable Development Association introduced the practical and innovative explorations carried out by CECCO in the fields of green sustainable development and carbon neutrality. He also put forward suggestions on promoting practical cooperation between China and the EU in such aspects as deepening cooperation in the research on sustainable development and carbon neutrality, exploring innovative implementation cases with pilot projects, building mechanisms and platforms of exchange and cooperation, and establishing long-term and stable financial support mechanisms, etc.

Mr. Feng Tie, Chinese Ambassador to Denmark, Mr. He Xiangdong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Ms. Signe Brudeset, Norwegian Ambassador to China, Mr. Wang Hongjian, Chargé D’affaires ad Interim of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, Mr. Wan Degang, Minister Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Sweden also attended the Opening Ceremony.

Implementation and action are the key to sustainable development and carbon neutrality goals.

Witnessed by Chinese and European leaders, cooperation agreements were signed by international organizations, Chinese and European governments and enterprises, to establish the China-EU Green and Digital Innovation (Taicang) Cooperation Zone, implement the China-EU Carbon Neutrality Innovation Cooperation (Taicang) Pilot Project, in a bid to explore a green and sustainable development model shared by China and Europe, build a diversified ChinaEurope partnership network and promote the application and promotion of China-EU Carbon Neutrality Innovation Cooperation Pilot Projects. Certificates were issued to 28 projects (as shown below) from China and Europe selected for 2022 and MOUs were signed. Partners came from 13 countries and regions around the world, including China, the European Union, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Finland.

Selected projects for 2022 include: Sino-German Ecopark; China-EU (Taicang) Green and Digital Innovation Cooperation Zone; Wuhan Jianghua Industry Development; ABB; Veolia; China Power International Development; China Railway Engineering Equipment Group; Grundfos; Beijing Gas; Beijing Capital Eco-Environment Protection Group; Northwestern Polytechnical University; PAN-CHINA Construction Group; SDIC Biotech Investment; EDF; Air Liquide; Harbin Institute of Technology; Schneider; Tangshan Guokong Science and Technology Innovation Group; RINA; Alfa Laval; Guangdong Hynn Technology; Advanced Soltech Renewable Energy; Ningbo Topcentral New Material; Hangzhou Wuhuan Technology; Celluno; Institute of Chongqing Southwest Low-Carbon Economy; InResST; China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute.

The China-EU Carbon Neutrality Cooperation Office (CECCO) launched the Annual Report on China-EU Green and Low-Carbon Industrial Cooperation, jointly with global partners including Roland Berger. The Report will keep track of the latest progress and identify development trends in carbon neutrality policies, technologies, standards, projects and financing mechanism in China and Europe. Implementation of China-EU Carbon Neutrality Pilot Projects will be assessed, and outstanding cooperation cases for global promotion will be showcased, so as to inspire new ideas for the development and cooperation between Chinese and European stakeholders.

The “Earth Aspiration Action (E2A) Initiative” was jointly launched by more than 40 Chinese and European government agencies, social organizations, research institutes, financial institutions and leading enterprises from China, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and other countries. The E2A Initiative aims to: build up a network of international partners; join hands to build and share green digital infrastructure; support research community to play a key role in synergizing green and digital transition and encourage younger generation to be important participants and future leaders in sustainable development.

The Conference conducted themed exchanges and discussions in the Symposium on Digitalization Drives Green Sustainable Development. The Symposium invited leading institutions from China and Europe, and the discussion focused on green digitalization transition in urban planning, energy, industry, lifestyle, innovation and finance. The symposium was moderated was Ms. Zheng Hong, Director-General of Center for International Economic and Technological Cooperation of MIIT. The Swedish company Sweco presented their plan of constructing China-EU Green and Digital Innovation (Taicang) Cooperation Zone. Experts from leading Chinese and European institutions delivered speech at the symposium, including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), EDF, Siemens, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) of Sweden, Finnish Textile and Fashion Association, Technical University of Munich of Germany, Tencent, Haier, Jingdong Digital Technology Group, Beijing Financial Holding Group and Beijing Gas.

The symposium was chaired by Ms. Zheng Hong, Director-General, Center for International Economic and Technological Cooperation, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China; Symposium speakers include Kaj Möller, President, Sweco International in Sweden; Xu Miao, Chief Coordinator, Sweco China; Ms. Xudan Song, Senior Executive Vice President, EDF China; Mr. Zhi Xiaoye, General Manager, Beijing Gas; Mr. Zhu Xiaoxun, Executive Vice President, Siemens Ltd., China, Head of Siemens Corporate Technology China; Mr. Xu Hao, Vice President, Tencent Sustainable Social Value; Mr. Zhou Yunjie, Chairman of the Board & CEO of Haier Group; Mr. Thomas Herzog, Professor of Technical University of Munich, Germany, Member of the United Nations International Institute of Architects; Ms. Li Yayun, CEO, Jingdong Digital Technology Group; Ms. Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, Managing Director, Finnish Textile and Fashion Association; Mr. Fan Wenzhong, Secretary of Party Committee and Chairman of Beijing Financial Holding Group;

The China-Europe Carbon-Neutral City Forum (2022) was also held during the Conference. The forum was moderated by Mr. Ding Zhijun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Energy Conservation and Comprehensive Utilization from MIIT and Mr. Yang Zijian, Chief of Public Policy from the China-EU Carbon Neutrality Cooperation Office. The Panelists represented Chinese and European government agencies including Copenhagen, Wuhan City, Sanya City and Taicang City, as well as social organizations and global leading enterprises including Sweden-China Greentech Alliance, China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), RINA, Roland Berger and Sweco. They exchanged views and shared insights on the pathway of synergistic green and digital transition and innovation practices in cities, contributing strategic and practical support for the construction of the China-EU Green and Digital Innovation Cooperation Zone and the implementation of the China-EU Carbon Neutrality Innovation Cooperation Pilot Projects.

Mr. Ding Zhijun, Deputy Director-General, Department of Energy Conservation and Resources Utilization, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (Moderator of Prepared Speech); Mr. Yang Zijian, Chief of Policy and Research of CECCO (Chair of Panel), Mr. Hu Weijiang, Mayor of Taicang, Jiangsu Province, China; Ms. Dang Zhen, Deputy Mayor of Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China; Mr. Sheng Yongjun, Executive Deputy Mayor of Sanya, Hainan Province, China; Mr. Kaj Möller, President of Sweco International in Sweden; Mr. Ulrik Raabjerg Søndergaard, Head of Insights, State of Green Denmark; Mr. Jiang Hao, Roland Berger Global Partner, Vice President of Greater China; Mr. Jonas Törnblom, Former President of Sweden-China Greentech Alliance; Mr. Tom Simpson, Managing Director for China, China-Britain Business Council; Mr. Luigi Fiato, Director, Industry APAC, RINA attending the China-Europe Carbon-Neutral City Forum (2022).

The successful conclusion of the Green Sustainable Development Conference (2022) will demonstrate to the world that China’s resolve to open up at a higher level will not change, nor will the historic mission of the international community to work together for win-win cooperation. China and Europe will join hands to leverage practical cooperation projects, in order to promote the innovative model of green and sustainable development featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Together, we will address the current challenges of world economic transition, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

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