08 June 2021 - Stakeholder national workshops

Carbon Neutrality and the Belt & Road Initiative: the PARIS REINFORCE China Workshop

The PARIS REINFORCE China stakeholder workshop was held online on June 8, 2021. The workshop discussed China’s net zero emissions after its carbon neutrality goal, how to achieve it from policy to practice, and topics related to the energy system in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. Stakeholders from the Chinese government, academia, and Chinese companies participated in the event.

First, Prof. Haris Doukas from the National Technical University of Athens introduced the background and objectives of the PARIS REINFORCE project, including the core content of the project, models used, the I2AM PARIS platform and details of recent and upcoming workshops.

Then, Dr. QM. Chai from China’s National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) introduced his work related to supporting China's carbon neutral targets, focusing on the energy system optimisation. He discussed how to promote carbon neutrality from the perspective of the energy transition, and how to make China’s policies promote realistic actions.

From the PARIS REINFORCE consortium, Dr. Xi Yang, from China University of Petroleum Beijing, introduced China's energy status and carbon neutral policy background, explained her current modelling work and initial results, with corresponding strategies proposed for different sectors. Next, Dr. Drik-Jan Van de Ven from the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BE3) presented his initial simulations of China's current policy, as well as mitigation scenarios, based on the GCAM model, to show how China could achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

Following these initial presentations, workshop participants entered into an open discussion session around China’s net-zero target, coordinated by Dr. Xi Yang. Starting from Shanxi Province—China’s largest coal power production base—Dr. XL. Yao introduced how Shanxi should transform in the process of carbon emissions reduction, focusing on the energy-intensive industries of the province. Next, Dr. XZ. Feng from the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, explained the synergistic effects of pollution reduction and carbon reduction and the adjustment of industrial structure from the perspective of the coordinated control of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Dr. CL. Zhang from the National Grid Energy Strategy Research Institute discussed the challenges of reducing carbon emissions in the power system, including integrating renewable energy power, operation control technology, market mechanisms and policy incentives. Finally, Prof. J. Pang discussed how China's carbon market has a relatively significant development effect, but there are still many problems, such as high regulatory costs, quota allocation and other issues.

A second open discussion session on the Belt and Road Initiative, again coordinated by Dr. Xi Yang, included opinions and comments from industries and enterprises in China. Ms. WQ. Lin from Guangdong Energy Group introduced the company's renewable energy power generation transformation and the company's "Belt and Road Initiative" actions. Ms. S. Guo from Datang Group introduced the group's clean energy goals and ways to achieve it. Mr. W. Han from China Power Finance argued that financial resource allocation is indispensable in the green development and low-carbon transition. Ms. S. Zhao from Climate Change and Sustainability Division EY LLP discussed how companies can participate in the green construction of the Belt and Road Initiative through using green bonds or green credits as financial support.

Finally, participants were invited to vote online on sli.do, for the project to collect stakeholders’ views on China’s carbon neutrality and the Belt and Road Initiative, carbon emissions reductions, energy transition and development prospects, coordinated by Mr. Ben McWilliams from Bruegel. Stakeholder perspectives will be incorporated into the scenario design of national low-carbon pathways modelling in the current phase of the PARIS REINFORCE project.