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Nations are likely to push forward climate protection at upcoming G20 summit

By Cecily Liu | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-08 00:16

Nations are likely to push forward climate protection at upcoming G20 summit

The DENZA 400electric car rolls off the production line in Shenzhen. It is a new model made by Sino-German joint-venture Shenzhen DENZA New Energy Auto. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With China pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to launch the world's largest market for carbon emissions permits, global leaders are being urged to stand firm in the fight against global warming.

Following the United States' decision last month to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, leaders of the other members of the Group of 20 economies must continue to make progress on climate protection, according to the German Development Institute.

Dirk Messner, director of the Bonn-based institute, said proposals to remain committed to the Paris Agreement have been drawn up by the G20's energy and climate change working group for consideration at the leaders' summit in Hamburg on Friday and Saturday.

The US is unlikely to accept the suggestions, but if the leaders of the other G20 members reach a consensus, then it's a success, Messner said.

The G20 working group's proposals call on each member state to create a decarbonization plan for their economies, draw up energy transition plans for their cities, buildings and mobility solutions, and work with multinational development banks to ensure new infrastructure financing meets environmental standards.

The G20 members were among the more than 190 countries that ratified the Paris Agreement, which includes policies for carbon market establishment. The deal was intended to unite the world into tackling rising temperatures, but the departure of the US is seen as a major setback.

Messner said the US withdrawal means it is all the more important that the other G20 members continue to make progress on climate protection and use it as a framework for modernizing the global economy.

The potential world leaders on fighting climate change at the G20 are now seen as China and Germany.

A bilateral China-Germany working group on climate change met recently in Berlin where they re-committed to take "an ambitious" approach to implement the Paris Agreement goals, and to push that collective approach in Hamburg this week.

China has already invested heavily into developing its carbon trading market, and is expected to roll out a national emissions trading system next year. It has launched seven pilot carbon trading markets since 2013, with a cumulative trading volume of 160 million tons of carbon by the end of 2016.

"China and Germany, in cooperation with other countries, can effectively join forces to facilitate the development of a low carbon energy system," said Andreas Kuhlmann, chief executive of the German Energy Agency.

The agency, which specializes in developing energy-efficient building standards, is working with China's State Grid to develop global solutions for energy transition and the integration of renewables. It is also working with the Chinese government on the development of a national green building system.

Other examples of areas of bilateral cooperation include German technology companies linking up with Chinese partners to achieve economies of scale and cost savings, such as in the manufacture of solar panels, and German car makers Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG teaming up with China's JAC Motor and BYD Auto, respectively, on electric vehicle development.

"Clean-tech collaboration that combines Germany's leading technology with Chinese manufacturing strength can serve markets globally," said Jens Weinmann, a clean energy expert and program director at the ESMT Berlin business school.

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