Europe and China have strongly grown their bilateral cooperation on energy and climate change issues over the last decade. However, growth in formal processes has been outpaced by increased EU-China trade in low carbon goods driven by both domestic policies and rises in global oil prices. Increased trade and investment has brought benefits to both sides in terms of lower prices, greater energy security, faster technology development and growing export opportunities. It has also brought trade tensions and concerns over fair competition.
Marking the 40th Anniversary of EU-China relations, and coming in advance of agreement of new global Sustainable Development Goals and the critical Paris Climate Summit in December 2015, the 2015 EU-China Summit and EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED) represent a vital opportunity to align European and Chinese interests on the green and low carbon economy.
In April 2015, E3G, Aldersgate Group and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group sent a letter on growing EU-China green and low carbon business opportunities to European leaders including President Junker, President Tusk, Vice President Mogherini and Vice President Sefcovic. The letter urges the EU to propose an ambitious set of concrete initiatives on green growth and low carbon investment at the EU-China Summit in 2015.
The letter is accompanied by a briefing paper detailing the actions that the EU can take to strengthen its bilateral cooperation with China, including creating an “EU-China Green Growth Area” by maximising the potential for growing integrated markets for green goods, services and investments by 2020. Specifically, the paper calls for the focus on:
- Building common approaches to climate change and energy security;
- Maximising mutual benefits from enhanced market opportunities; and
- Building stronger EU-China cooperation on urbanisation and green growth