he concept of Low Carbon Zones (LCZs) emerged from joint work by European and Chinese research institutes summarised in a report published in November 2007 entitled “Changing Climates: Interdependencies on Energy and Climate Security for China and Europe”. Chatham House and E3G then used the initial research findings and the results of extensive discussions in China to elaborate the LCZs proposal in a concept paper.
China is a vast country with a highly diverse economy and will need a range of low carbon development models. Many Chinese provinces and cities are pursuing low carbon initiatives, some via partnerships with Europe. LCZs would provide a practical framework to scale up these initiatives.
The latest in this collection of papers, available to download above (in English and Chinese), builds upon the previous by suggesting some concrete examples of how LCZs would add value to existing Chinese initiatives to move to a low carbon economy, and specifically add value to existing EU-China cooperation, as well as outline practical mechanisms that could be used to channel EU support for LCZs.
This paper also outlines the potentially unique contribution of LCZs compared to project or sectoral approaches in delivering integrated packages of support across sectors and combining regulation, finance, technology and market creation.
The real value of an LCZ would lie in bringing together the full range of activity – state-of-the-art planning, low carbon buildings, innovation clusters etc—in one geographical region to act as a showcase for low carbon development.