Context of the action

China plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 – an ambitious target for the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (about 27% of all emissions). In 2020, the country announced new greenhouse gas emission targets under its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) – it aims to reach peak greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and then to dramatically reduce them. In 2021, China announced a decision to stop building new coal-fired power projects outside its own borders.

There is sustained and comprehensive cooperation between China and the EU on climate and energy policies. The EU and China have, separately and through partnership, achieved progress on climate action, resulting in a range of new commitments and policies such as China’s 1+N policy framework, which guides the direction of China’s green transition and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060. At the United Nations climate change talks (COP26) China updated its NDC and announced a long-term strategy (LTS).

SPIPA actions

SPIPA commenced its activities in China with a series of public events directed at Chinese policymakers and experts, at which the EU’s LTS vision was presented. This activity was followed up with support to dialogues and scientific cooperation between EU and Chinese experts on scenario modelling, in view of the EU and China’s LTS policy frameworks.

At all stages of its engagement with Chinese partners, SPIPA has been able to bring together key stakeholders from the EU and the Chinese government to share information and good practices. An example of such an exchange was an experts’ seminar on post-COVID-19 green recovery in the EU and China held in September 2020. Discussions focused on how to further strengthen climate action and cooperation, notably on the EU’s current and planned green recovery actions as well as on related financial instruments.

Building on the initial success achieved and in the run-up to the 15th meeting on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) and COP26, SPIPA conducted a series of workshops that promoted dialogue between Chinese scientists and key EU researchers from the fields of agriculture, energy, biodiversity and land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) on finding nature-based solutions to climate-related issues. These exchanges culminated in a presentation at COP26 in Glasgow.

The future EU-China climate collaboration could pursue dialogue around the Global Methane Pledge agreed at COP26.

SPIPA action in China is linked to the following SPIPA result areas:

business action

Business and Net-zero Transformation

Climate AdaptionClimate Adaptation
Long-term StrategiesLong-term Strategies
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