Expert discussion on the German energy transition and sustainable economic policy in China and Germany

Event: Sustainable Growth Model

On March 24th 2016, Mr. Bernd Westphal, Speaker for Economic and Energy Policies of the parliamentarian Caucus of the German Social Democratic Party, met Chinese experts on environmental policies to discuss the German energy transition and sustainable economic development in China and Germany.

During the expert discussion organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation and supported by the German Embassy in Beijing in the evening of March 24th 2016, Mr. Bernd Westphal, who is Speaker for Economic and Energy Policies of the parliamentarian Caucus of the German Social Democratic Party, met several renowned experts on environmental and energy in China.

Prof. Wang Yi, Deputy General of the Institute of Science and Development at China Academy of Sciences and Member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the P.R. China; Prof. Li Junfeng, Director of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) and of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation of China (NCSC) and Prof. Wang Zhongying, Deputy Director General of the Energy Research Institute at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) attended the discussion.

First, Mr. Bernd Westphal reported about his impressions and insights he gained during his stay in China. From March 21st to 24th 2016, Mr. Bernd Westphal visited Zhangjiakou, scene of winter Olympics in 2022, and was impressed by the commitment to sustainable development and enthusiasm that was shown by the Chinese partners on the scene.

Later, he gave an insight into the current situation and perspectives of the German energy transition and other energy related questions. He stressed that there are many challenges to overcome, as for example much needed technical innovations concerning the energy storage technology and smart grid, but he also highlighted the wide consensus in society for a sustainable and nuclear energy free future for Germany is present, albeit conflicting goals and some opposition.

The Chinese experts commented on challenges and opportunities in the Chinese situation. For example conflicting goals between the central and local governments or uncertain property situations when it comes to relocation due to electricity grid expansion were named.

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