China produces and uses more energy than any other country. Energy developments in China therefore have a big impact on the state of the market worldwide, as well as on the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
EU cooperation with China is based on so-called Sectorial Dialogues which focus on individual economic areas. Since 1994, EU and Chinese officials have met throughout the year at the Energy Dialogue to cooperate on energy issues. The Dialogue's work forms part of the annual EU-China Summit. There are six priority areas of cooperation:
- renewable energy
- smart grids
- energy efficiency in buildings
- clean coal
- nuclear energy
- energy legislation.
Partnership on Urbanisation
Currently over half of China's citizens live in urban areas, and this number is increasing. Through the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation, the EU works with China to promote clean, sustainable, and energy efficient cities. The Partnership encompasses forums, study trips, and training activities, as well as an annual meeting between the President of China and the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. While the Partnership stretches across many economic and social sectors, DG Energy acts as the overall coordinator for the EU.
In energy, the Partnership works on topics such as promoting energy efficient buildings, researching energy technologies, and finding ways to integrate renewable energy into urban areas.
As part of the Partnership on Urbanisation, the EU and China launched the EC-LINK project. The project aims to help make Chinese cities more energy and resource efficient.
EC-LINK activities include:
- an online platform to share information between European and Chinese stakeholders, available in Chinese and English
- an 'urban sustainability lab' to create a toolbox for Chinese cities piloting new energy and resource efficiency measures
- an 'urban sustainability help desk' that Chinese municipal officials can contact for advice on efficient urban planning and financing.
Europe-China Clean Energy Centre
The Europe-China Clean Energy Centre (EC2) is a five-year cooperative project which aims to promote the use of clean energy in China.
EC2 activities include:
- setting up a database of clean energy technologies to help share knowledge between the EU and China
- creating advisory reports on clean energy policies
- providing seminars, training courses, study tours, and e-learning programmes
- raising awareness of the benefits of clean energy in China through promotional campaigns, events, and newsletters.
EC2 is managed by a consortium of European and Chinese partners led by Politecnico di Torino in Italy. It is co-funded by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.