The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change arrived in Beijing on Sunday on a three day visit (8-11 Nov) and will link up with the Prime Minister later in the week. The Prime Minister is leading the largest ever Ministerial delegation to attend the UK China Summit and Economic and Financial Dialogue.
Mr Huhne said ahead of his visit “My visit this week aims to ensure that China and the UK can build a strong partnership as we face common challenges together”.
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and a key player in international climate changes talks.
Ahead of the Summit, the DECC Secretary of State will launch a reinvigorated UK-China Energy Dialogue with a focus on global energy security and energy technology. This Dialogue, it is hoped, will serve to strengthen UK and China energy collaboration and engagement in a cost effective way. Both sides stand to gain from increased trade, investment and technology cooperation.
Shortly after arriving in Beijing Mr Huhne headed straight to Tianjin to give a keynote speech at the GLOBE legislators forum giving him an unique opportunity to engage with an influential global political audience. At the forum he met with Chairman Wang Guangtao of the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Later in the evening Mr Huhne took the high speed rail back to Beijing South Station.
The Energy Secretary is due later to meet with Chairman Zhang Ping of the National Reform and Development Commission. He will hope to encourage China to take an ambitious approach to low carbon in China’s 12th five-year plan.
Mr Huhne will also have a number of meetings with key Chinese stakeholders such as
- Mr Zhang Guobao, Minister and Head of the National Energy Administration;
- Mr Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Industry;
- Chinese Low Carbon Policy Experts.
He will also meet with Chinese Energy Companies to discuss future collaboration.
On Wednesday the Energy Secretary will pay a visit to Beiqi Foton Motors company. Beiqi is one of China’s leading manufacturing of new energy vehicles with vehicle sales of 11,500 by the end of 2010.
UK China Energy Dialogue provides a framework to strengthen co-operation on key upstream and down stream energy sectors; a platform for discussion of the international measures needed to increase energy Market stability; deliver better Market access; bring energy policy makers closer to joint energy policy collaboration.
GLOBE International was founded in 1989 with the aim of coordinating progressive legislation on environmental issues, including the reduction of CO2 emissions. GLOBE’s forums, which were established in 2005 in response to a request from Tony Blair, are biannual policy dialogues incorporating over 100 legislators from the major economies (Brazil, Canada, China, European Parliament, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and US).
Tianjin is a metropolis in North-eastern China and one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of China. Tianjin government is taking initial steps to shift the city to a low carbon economy and has been named as one of China’s 5+8 low carbon pilot zones (which is likely to entail them being assigned a carbon intensity target for 2020 greater than 45%). Tianjin is also one of China’s pilots for the use of market mechanisms through initiatives such as the establishment of Tianjin Climate Exchange.
Tianjin may be picked as the first APEC Low-Carbon Model City to test new technology including smart grids and renewable-power generations as part of effort to reduce pollution and dependence on crude oil. Tianjin hosted the UN Climate Change Conference in early October.
Beijing South station is the biggest station in the world. Three UK companies (Farrells, Arup and Atkins) were key contributors to the project. Farrells led the international design team in master planning and station architecture, with Atkins and Arup as sub-consultants. The station opened on 1 August 2008.