Industrial Development and Environmental Policy in China and Germany
Ambitious Environmental Policy - The Basis for Sustainable Industrial Development" was the theme of a Side Event at the 14th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in New York on 11 May 2006. It addressed the relations between business and policy-making, and the role of regulation and dynamics of change in China and Germany. German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel opened the event chaired by R. Andreas Kraemer.
CSD 14 addressed the thematic cluster of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and atmosphere, and climate change. Within this cluster, the Side Event, hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, focused on specific issues for Germany and China, and the roles of business and policy-making in cooperating and responding to global challenges. These were the concept of a "Circular Economy", closing material cycles and joining waste and resource management, "Resource and Energy Efficiency", and "Renewable Energies".
Key Note Speakers were:
- H.E. Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
- H. E. Du Ying, Vicechairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, P. R. China
- Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Heraeus Holding, Member of the Presidential Board of the Federation of German Industries
- Dr. Martin Viessmann, Managing Director, Viessmann GmbH & Co. KG, Vice President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce
- Monique Barbut, Director of the Department of Technology, Industry and Economics, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Paris
The event revealed a remarkable degree of agreement on the nature of the challenges facing governments as well as business and industry, and on priorities, potential solutions and policy needs. All presentations showed that protection of the environment, under the right political and regulatory frameworks, is not only a necessity but will also stimulate innovation as well as employment and economic development through new international markets. In addition, all speakers underlined the need for international coordination and cooperation and expressed their willingness to contribute to a global response to the challenges of environmental protection and sustainable development of our industrial societies.