When Chinese President Xi Jinping met by video with European Council President Michel and European Commission President von der Leyen on April 1, he emphasized that China and the EU should continue to lead the global cooperation on climate change and biodiversity.

Michel and von der Leyen expressed their willingness to continue to deepen cooperation with China in various fields such as economy, trade, investment, energy, and green development, and jointly address global challenges such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic, climate change, and biodiversity protection.

  2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. As the most important economy in the EU, the pragmatic cooperation between Germany and China in the field of economy, trade and investment has become an important ballast stone for the steady and long-term development of China-EU relations in recent years.

How to better promote win-win cooperation between China, Germany and Europe, and join hands to lead the global low-carbon development process?

How to balance the achievement of climate goals with energy and economic security?

How can hydrogen play an important role in Sino-German climate cooperation?

How to understand the competition and cooperation relationship between China and Germany and China and Europe in the fields of new energy vehicles?

  Recently, at the "East-West Question: Sino-German Climate Dialogue" hosted by China News Network and co-organized by the German Federal Federation of Economic Development and Foreign Trade, Du Xiangwan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, former vice president, and consultant of the National Committee of Experts on Climate Change, and the thirteenth session Wang Yi, Member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice President of the Institute of Science and Technology Strategic Consulting of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, Member of the German Bundestag, former Deputy Speaker, and Chairman of the German "China Bridge" Association ) and Michael Schumann, President of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA), had a dialogue on this.

  Dialogue experts believe that China is an indispensable partner of Germany and Europe in addressing climate change and promoting new energy. The cooperation between the two parties has the potential to become a model of EU-China relations, and hydrogen energy can become one of the key areas for future cooperation between the two sides; The two sides have a lot of good cooperation in new energy vehicles and other industries. All parties should encourage the spirit of cooperation of "building bridges" rather than advocating confrontation.

An excerpt from the conversation follows:  

Hydrogen energy may become an important topic of Sino-German climate cooperation  

Friedrich:

There were two major transformational processes in the first fifty years of this century, digitization and carbon neutrality.

China and Germany should and must work closely together to enable all of humanity to make progress on these two issues.

The EU has an ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, while China has set a target of 2060 and has set other very ambitious targets.

If we want to achieve these goals, we need to switch now as quickly and as much as possible to energy sources that do not release carbon dioxide, such as electricity and hydrogen.

Hydrogen energy has great advantages. It is not constrained by pipelines and can be produced, stored, and transported anywhere in the world. It is considered a secret weapon in the fight against climate change in many countries.

  Germany is one of the leading countries in the field of hydrogen research and has a large number of patents, while China has a huge market space and potential to promote cooperation in hydrogen energy, which is beneficial to the economic development of both countries.

We must advance the German-Chinese climate dialogue at all levels.

Data map: The production workshop of the first-phase electrolysis water hydrogen production project of a company.

Photo by Zhai Yujia

Du Xiangwan:

In the process of climate change, especially in the formation of contemporary climate change science, German scientists and even European scientists have made very important contributions. Now, to deal with climate change, European scientists, including German scientists, have also made important contributions. In pushing hard, we have a very common language on this point.

  Wind and solar are intermittent, and energy storage is necessary to ensure stability.

Hydrogen energy can be said to be a very important energy storage.

The idea now is to combine intermittent renewable energy with energy storage.

  There are two problems with hydrogen energy. The first is how to produce hydrogen. Because hydrogen is a secondary energy source, coal can produce hydrogen, but carbon dioxide must be emitted, which violates our original intention and original intention of using hydrogen, so the direction of Europe is also very clear. That is, hydrogen production should develop green hydrogen, and it should be non-fossil energy to produce hydrogen.

  The second is how to use hydrogen.

Our first consideration is the need for energy storage. Using hydrogen to store unstable solar and wind energy is feasible in theory, but there is still a lack of practice. This is the case in both countries.

  Our two countries not only have a high degree of consensus on addressing climate change, but also face the same or similar problems and difficulties to be solved. We can do more exchanges.

Workers refuel the bus with hydrogen.

Photo by Li Jianlin

Energy transition should take into account the economy and people's livelihood

Schumann: A

reliable energy supply is one of the basic conditions for creating and maintaining the prosperity and progress of modern society.

The so-called "Energy Policy Triangle" defines the relationship and contradiction between the basic orientation of economic supply security and environmental impact and climate protection.

Natural gas will continue to play a central role as a bridge technology on the road to the renewable energy industry.

  As an industrialized country, Germany has withdrawn from nuclear energy and coal in a short period of time, and Germany still needs fossil energy.

Its processing and storage technology has improved rapidly in recent years, enabling it to meet environmental standards.

Natural gas will continue to play an important role as a bridge to improve the efficiency of regeneration technologies.

Fighting climate change and creating sustainable working and living conditions can only succeed on the basis of global cooperation.

China is an indispensable partner in this area, and Sino-German cooperation in this area has the potential to become a model for the entire Sino-European relationship.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, Member of the German Bundestag, former Deputy Speaker, President of the German "Bridge to China" Association (top left) and Michael Schumann, President of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) ( lower left).

Video screenshot

Broad space for Sino-German climate cooperation

Wang Yi:

China-Germany cooperation on environment and climate has a long history. Environmental cooperation probably dates back to the 1990s.

After 2008, that is, around the Copenhagen conference, Sino-German climate cooperation has also increased rapidly.

In the past two years, despite the epidemic, we still have a lot of cooperation and exchanges on the environment and climate change.

We hope to further strengthen the cooperation between China and Germany in the field of environment and climate change by commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and hope that this cooperation will continue.

  Climate change is a global challenge that transcends countries and ideologies, so we need to promote more pragmatic cooperation and action.

In addition, we may also have to choose more priority areas.

Taking hydrogen energy as an example, China's development of hydrogen energy is very fast.

I once went to the Northwest region to see the production of green hydrogen. We produce hydrogen from solar photovoltaics.

This hydrogen will consider different application scenarios in the future, such as driving heavy-duty trucks with fuel cells, for example, using hydrogen energy to produce more chemical raw materials. With the application scenarios (increasing), we need to overcome high costs and improve. Its efficiency, which requires cooperation between China and Germany.

Germany has very good experience in energy transformation in this regard, and China also has a lot of good experience in equipment manufacturing and large-scale application of renewable energy to reduce costs.

  There are other fields. For example, I mentioned that Germany has a lot of good experience in climate legislation and policy. For example, you have the "Climate Protection Law".

China's National People's Congress is also considering how to build a better legislative and legal system in terms of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.

The two countries can better cooperate in many aspects.

Du Xiangwan (top right), academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, former vice president, advisor to the National Committee of Experts on Climate Change (top right), and Wang Yi (bottom right), member of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress and vice president of the Institute of Science and Technology Strategic Consulting, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Photo by Chinanews reporter Zhai Lu

Sino-German cooperation can promote China, Europe and the world to work together to combat climate change

Wang Yi:

The "1+N" policy system introduced by China is not only a carbon reduction, but a systemic change.

However, this system cannot be achieved overnight, and needs to be continuously summarized in practice.

We hope to learn more from developed countries such as Germany.

In addition, we need to carry out third-party cooperation, that is, China, Germany, and other developed countries, to help other developing countries to realize the green development of energy together.

Du Xiangwan:

I think Sino-German cooperation is very important. When China studies its own energy transition, we often cite the example of Germany and the example of Denmark, so I pay close attention to Germany.

We recently had some experts make a very detailed visit to Germany, and left me with a sentence like this, "Photovoltaics are everywhere where photovoltaics can be installed" - photovoltaics are installed wherever photovoltaics can be installed, which is distributed photovoltaic power generation- This is very impressive.

  However, including Germany and Denmark, there is a problem, that is, how to achieve stable output while developing renewable energy installations.

We hope to have more cooperation and more exchanges in this regard, so that renewable energy can be made into a convincing development direction not only at the planning level, not only on paper, but also in practice.

We can say that we are constantly paying attention to Germany and Denmark and also to learn from you.

We will only be happier if you are leading the way; but if we want to do well, we also hope to communicate with you.

Data map: Aerial photography of the 110 MW "fishing and photovoltaic complementary" photovoltaic power generation project in Xilian Town, Yi'an District, Tongling City, Anhui Province.

Photo by Chen Chen

"Building bridges" rather than "building walls" should be encouraged

Friedrich:

If we can demonstrate that by some means it is possible to maintain prosperity, maintain security, and reduce CO2 emissions, then our technology will be an example for the rest of the world, so we are now taking every step towards zero CO2 emissions are very important.

Schumann:

We welcome Chinese investment in Germany.

We have seen good cooperation between China and Germany in many technical fields, including the automotive industry.

Take, for example, the cooperation between Huawei and German car companies, which complement each other and inspire themselves to continue to progress.

We should encourage this spirit of "building bridges" and the spirit of confrontation we are seeing right now is not good for the world.

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