Linking the Environment and the Economy - Opportunities for environmental cooperation following the release of China's 12th Five-Year Plan


In March 2011, The National People’s Congress has approved China’s 12th Five-Year-Plan, setting targets that also related to climate and clean energy issues. At a German-Chinese Riverside Chat on 31 March 2011 in Berlin, China’s commitment to international cooperation and the UN-led climate negotiation process was addressed. The Riverside Chat was held in honor of a high-ranking Chinese delegation that visited Germany as part of the Sino-German Environmental Policy Program.

China is now the second-largest economy in the world and the largest annual emitter of greenhouse gases. Its 12th Five-Year-Plan sets targets over the 2011-2015 period not only for areas including the economy, restructuring, agriculture, livelihood and reform, but for the first time also in environment and clean energy issues. It includes a commitment to gradually introduce market mechanisms to control carbon pollution and highlighting strategic emerging industries in the field of energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy, among others.

The Riverside Chat aimed to discuss and exchange views on China’s role as an economy that performs a shift in its development path, striving to take a lead in energy and climate change technology.

The Riverside Chat was part of the Sino-German training course on green growth and environmental management, organized and implemented by the Ecologic Institute on behalf of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Participants included experts from local Chinese environmental authorities, representatives from the Chinese Ministry of the Environment and other high-ranking officials.

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