2015 marked the 40th anniversary of China-European Union (EU) diplomatic ties, highlighting the achievements and continued cooperation in the fields of investment and trade. One of the primary issues in today’s world is green and sustainable development, and the European region has established itself as a central player in the practice of green design. This has become a key factor in coordinating EU relations, and China has been making headway towards the green design movement with energy saving practices, in addition to positive emission reduction commitments made in Paris in 2015.
On March 30, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy (BTC) hosted a public discussion featuring Jo Leinen, chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with China, and Qi Ye, director of the BTC. The discussion focused on the topic of the new pattern of the European Union under the green development and sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Leinen has been an elected member of the European Parliament since 1999 and the president of the Union of European Federalists since 1997. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Committee for a Democratic U.N. Prior to his time in the European Parliament, he was the minister of the environment in the state of Saarland, Germany and vice president of the European Environment Bureau in Brussels.
Leinen stressed the importance of global governance and international cooperation, which has been emphasized in recent years in order to maintain the stability of the financial system, protect the environment, fight against terrorism, and
promote peace throughout the world. He discussed the progress that the China-EU trade relationship has made in the last year, with total trade reaching 400 billion euros, and expressed hope that China-EU relations can achieve new breakthroughs in the future. On the environmental side, Leinen affirmed China’s efforts in the development of a green low-carbon economy and contribution to the world in working to reduce emissions. He highlighted China’s crucial role at the climate change conference in Paris in 2015 and the country’s commitment to allow greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2030, although he believes that may be a conservative estimate.
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