By Darrell Egan
Continental Europe and China share a single landmass and the effort for both parties on a strategy to reach carbon neutral goals requires a unified strategy.
European Union President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the European Union of 27 member states will become carbon neutral by 2050.
With such a goal to reach this also needs joint cooperation with China as carbon emissions do not have passports as they spread on the same huge landmass of continental Europe and China.
The big goal now is how the 27 member states fit in with a unified strategy with China on clean energy as China also has a goal of being carbon neutral by 2060.
At the forefront of this work in China to make strategy recommendations for a joint EU China strategy to the European Union is the European Union Chamber of Commerce China (EUCCC).
In an interview with both Vice Presidents of the European Union Chamber of Commerce, China Guido Giacconi and Klaus Zenkel, there are sticking points that the European Union needs to urgently address to reach carbon neutral goals in crucial cooperation with China.
Whilst China is making great efforts in regards to a market approach to tackling climate change in co-chairing the G20 Green Finance study Group, co-founded the Network for Greening as part of the Financial System with the Belt and Road Initiative and initiated the Mongolian Taxonomy scheme the Central Bank of Mongolia and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, much has to be done regarding a workable strategy with outcomes.
There has been great effort from China with the Billion Tree Project covering (and greening) 23 per cent of China, however with still a reliance on 70 per cent coal for energy needs, it has the ever existing problem of offsetting other efforts with producing electric vehicles which depend on coal fired electricity.
Europe has had decades of experience in transitioning away from coal with Germany making a further great leap from earlier efforts in 2000 with a massive expansion of solar and wind energy through grassroots citizen-owned power cooperatives via grants with monitored outcomes.
However, it must be kept in mind China is a country of 1.4 billion people and a very intensive, well-thought out strategy needs to be put in place, which the European Union can share their experience of transitioning from coal in a strategic way with China, that also takes into account China’s existing structure and local provincial government local considerations.
On a grassroots level there could be scope in relation to China’s poverty alleviation scheme of to empower local cooperatives in this scheme with clean energy initiatives as well changing transitioning the large coal Industries on a macro level to clean energy.
This could include sewage electricity generation that would greatly help rural local low socio-economic areas in China with sanitation and would complement China’s poverty alleviation scheme.
This is a big opportunity for European Union state members to roll up their sleeves and work with China on strategies in a consultancy capacity sharing their transitioning from coal initiatives in embracing local cooperatives in the process, along with the macro steps in closing down their coal industries.
In relation to the Belt and Road initiative connecting China with Europe, both the European Union and China need to have a co-operative approach that can possibly implement a mix of the European grant system for clean energy initiatives and China’s loan approach, depending on the situation of relevant Belt and Road countries.
However, with the European Union recently not ratifying a Comprehensive Economic agreement with China, buying into mostly US driven human rights accusations on China, which in my research hold little evidence, with conflicting claims, is putting humanity at a great risk in hampering a joint strategy in tackling climate change.
Geopolitical finger-pointing with agendas never helps humanity. However, a cooperative approach does.
The climate change clock is ticking close to an irreversible point for humanity and the European Union must decide.
This article was originally published on Dazza Egan Australia & China Watch Journo.
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