EU-China cooperation key to tackling climate change: German expert – Xinhua

The bank of the Rhine is flooded in Cologne, western Germany, on July 15, 2021. (Photo by Tang Ying/Xinhua)

According to Edenhofer, although global emissions began to decline with the emergence of COVID-19, they are now largely back to pre-pandemic levels.

BERLIN, April 2 (Xinhua) — To meet the global challenge of climate change, it is essential for Europe to cooperate with China on the economics of climate change, said leading German expert Ottmar Edenhofer.

Due to its size and vast potential for innovation, China’s involvement is crucial for the world to solve the climate problem, said Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. (PIK), to Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.

China’s goals of reaching carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 are in line with the European Union‘s (EU) plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Ms. Edenhofer.

The fact that the United States has similar goals “means that the world’s three largest economies are aligned on a path to transformation,” he said.

In particular, Edenhofer, whose institute has been actively engaged in providing information to policymakers, expects to see close cooperation between the EU and China in the area of ​​carbon pricing.

China launched its national carbon trading market in 2021. The EU has also started to launch a new emissions trading system for the transport and building sectors, a key driver of the reduction broadcasts in Europe.

According to Edenhofer, the EU and China should work together to set a minimum price for carbon emissions to create a level playing field.

He acknowledged the issue of carbon pricing was complex, but said it was “something we could start with”. He called a minimum price for CO2 one of the “instruments that we could jointly implement”.

According to Edenhofer, although global emissions began to decline with the emergence of COVID-19, they are now largely back to pre-pandemic levels.

This means that “the pandemic has not changed the underlying structure of our economy and our society”.

A burning ring on a gas stove is seen in Manchester, Britain, March 17, 2022. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)

He said a particularly worrying trend is the skyrocketing price of natural gas, which has led to increased use of coal in the power sector and increased global carbon emissions.

Assessing Germany’s experiences in tackling climate change, Edenhofer said it was important to focus first on technology development, and in particular to support emerging technologies in relevant fields. .

But technology alone cannot reduce carbon emissions, he said. Carbon emissions must be priced to avoid the increased use of traditional energy sources, such as coal, he stressed.

In addition, low-income households should be compensated to offset rising green energy costs and to popularize climate policy, he said.

Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2021 shows wind turbines at the Changma Wind Farm in Yumen City, northwest China’s Gansu Province. (Xinhua/Fan Peishen)

Edenhofer’s institute works closely with its Chinese counterparts in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has published a series of papers jointly with Chinese scientists, including on the peak of carbon.

“We are very happy to work with Chinese scientists,” he said.

Comments are closed.