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ClientEarth Communications

8th July 2020

EU China Environment Project

EU – China Dialogue on Green Deal and Green Economic Recovery

On the 29th of June ClientEarth co-hosted a virtual workshop on green economic recovery on behalf of the bilateral EU – China Environment Project. The workshop focused on the green recovery plans of the EU and its member states, and how they could be used as inspiration in China. Chinese and European officials took part, as well as policy researchers, academics, business and civil society representatives.

The workshop was divided into three parts:

The EU Green Deal and EU Green Recovery was presented by Sebastien Paquot of the EU Delegation to China and focused on how this difficult period can become an opportunity if the Green Deal is used as the compass for the recovery: This means future proofing the economy, acting in solidarity for a fair and inclusive recovery, and save otherwise healthy companies across the European Union.

From France, Denmark, and Germany the perspectives of mobility, energy, and biofuels were highlighted as examples of how to match national objectives with the toolkit presented by the EU. Professor Cameron Hepburn from Oxford University presented his influential study on the medium and long-term macroeconomic benefits of green stimulus measures.

European business representatives spoke about how green stimulus measures may best be designed to benefit their sectors. Much of the work with implementing a Chinese version of the green deal will be about aligning future industries with climate and biodiversity goals. This is especially timely in the realm of transport, energy, and production.

Finally, Chinese policy experts took a comprehensive view on where the policies of Beijing align with the stated goals in a green deal. Domestic economic recovery, and the Belt and Road Initiative provide ample potential. Infrastructure and digitization are commonalities in the EU and China recovery plans. Making sure that a green recovery is aligned with broader social goals will make it an integrated political project, destined for all-round support.

Dimitri de Boer, chief representative of ClientEarth China and team leader of the EU – China Environment Project: “Following COVID, economic recovery is a top priority in the EU and China. There is great interest on both sides to take this opportunity to accelerate the green transition. I hope this workshop will be the start of an on-going dialogue, which will contribute to better and mutually reinforcing green stimulus measures in the two of the world’s largest economies.”

Wu Shunze, Director-General, PRCEE, Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment: "I want to reassure European colleagues that China will remain committed to green development despite the economic woes caused by the pandemic. EU - China environmental cooperation is a real highlight in the bilateral relations between the two economies, and will set a great example for the international community."