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Energy Foundation China Held a “Clean Energy Strategy and Climate Change” Open Forum at CCICED’s Annual Meeting

On December 10, 2017, “Clean Energy Strategy and Climate Change,” an open forum on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), kicked off in Beijing. Undertaken by the Energy Foundation, the forum was hosted by two vice chairpersons of CCICED: XIE Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative on Climate Change, and Catherine MCKENNA, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

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Keynote speakers and participants gave their insight into how to simultaneously achieve goals of clean energy transition, climate mitigation, and sustainable development at the forum, which covered two sections, namely “Economic Growth Pattern and Development Paths of Clean Energy Innovation” and “Synergy Development of Climate Change and Social Economic Strategy and Policies.”

Climate change is a global challenge facing all human beings. The next five years will be a critical window for each party of the Paris Agreement to carry out the policies they have committed; assess, develop, and submit their Mid-century Strategies; and strengthen their national goals. Promoting clean energy, protecting the environment, and fighting climate change constitute crucial parts of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations by 2030. Countries all over the world, including China, are taking strong measures to achieve the goals. Attendees at the forum discussed mid- and long-term objectives of tackling climate change both in China and around the world from perspectives such as practical experience, vision, and innovation, as well as implementing approaches.

As the world’s largest carbon polluter and energy consumer, China’s clean energy transition and green development are of great significance to the global climate governance. Participants of the forum believed that, the combat against climate change should be highly coordinated with the socio-economic development, and the clean energy transition should match with China’s progress in economic reform and modernization. They also held that the transition toward green and low carbon development would be a new growth engine for the Chinese economy. At a time when China is taking unprecedented actions to improve the environment, they argued that those actions should also combine with clean energy and climate strategies to secure co-benefits.

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Guests addressed the forum included: WANG Yiming, Vice President of the Development Research Center of the State Council; Eric HEITZ, CEO and Co-founder of Energy Foundation; Jonathan PERSHING, Program Director of Environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and former Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State; Jos DELBEKE, Directorate General for Climate Action of the European Commission; ZOU Ji, President of Energy Foundation China; Åsa ROMSON, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Climate and the Environment of Sweden; and MA Jun, Director of the Center for Finance and Development at the Tsinghua University and former Chief Economist at the Research Bureau of the People's Bank of China.

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