Parliamentary State Secretary Schwarzelühr-Sutter in China for environmental policy talks

Rita Schwarzlühr-Sutter shaking hands with Chinese vice minister for environment Zhao Yingmin

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter is pleased after talks with vice minister for environment Zhao Yingmin 13th of June in Peking/Photo: German Embassy Peking

For years, Germany and China have fostered an intense partnership in many diverse areas. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB) has maintained a strategic environmental dialogue with China since 2006, as well as a climate dialogue since 2009. Last year, this close bilateral cooperation was expanded with the addition of a strategic dialogue on sustainable urbanisation.
On 11 June 2016, Parliamentary State Secretary Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter travelled to Beijing as part of the German delegation for the fourth China-Germany Governmental Consultation. The purpose of the visit was to discuss current developments related to environmental and climate change policies and to expand cooperation.

‘China and Germany are key partners for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as the 2030 Agenda agreed at the UN Sustainable Development Summit’, Schwarzelühr-Sutter explained. ‘I’m very pleased that the governments of China and Germany will be among the first to report on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the UN Forum for Sustainable Development in New York next July. We will continue to remain by China’s side as it shifts towards a more sustainable economy.’

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB), the International Climate Initiative (IKI) is currently supporting nine ongoing bilateral projects with a funding volume of 32.5 million euros, as well as 11 other regional and global projects that have components in China with a funding volume of 45.21 million euros. An additional two bilateral and two global projects are currently in the planning stage.

IKI is supporting a total of three strategic partnerships with China that address environmental issues, climate change, renewable energy and urbanisation. All three partnerships are being carried out by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The German-Chinese Climate Partnership and Cooperation on Renewable Energies focusses on knowledge exchange, policy dialogue and advice regarding a legal framework for climate issues, the energy transition, and decentralised energy production and supply based on renewable energies. This has been followed by IKI’s Sino-German Environmental Partnership, which provides professional and technical support for the strategic environmental dialogue as well as policy advice on environmental and climate change issues to the Chinese Environmental Ministry and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

In May 2013 German Chancellor Merkel and Chinese Premier Li agreed to the German-Chinese Urbanisation Partnership, the most recent project, which commenced in 2015. A related project that was commissioned by IKI in May 2016 is assisting cities to implement sustainable and climate-friendly urbanisation measures, thereby also helping to fulfil climate change mitigation targets. Additionally, the project promotes the exchange of know-how and experience among governments, mayors, partner cities, federal states and provinces across multiple cities. Another important project carried out by IKI supports China in implementing a national Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Since 2015, the project has introduced and tested regional ETS in seven designated cities and provinces in a pilot phase. Through the project's help, the introduction of a national ETS starting at the end of 2017 will allow for investments in climate-friendly technologies to be implemented in a particularly cost-effective way.
In the course of the governmental consultations, China and Germany confirmed their intentions to further intensify existing environmental and climate partnerships.

1 BMUB funding volumes for regional and global projects based on where China is part of.