Chancellor Merkel discusses China and Germany climate collaboration

Clare Saxon Ghauri
31 August 2012

BEIJING: During her visit to China this week, the German Chancellor Andrea Merkel held a private meeting with our Greater China Director, Changhua Wu along with six other NGOs, to discuss how China and Germany can better work together to advance global climate progress.

Along with nine cabinet members and a delegation of 150, Chancellor Merkel was in China for the second high level consultation between China and Germany, where she met with Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping among others.

In a key discussion on recent clean energy issues, Chancellor Merkel suggested that the EU should not “retaliate” with China over the solar subsidy matter. She proposed instead, that a dialogue between two sides should be conducted to increase understanding.

During the consultation, both sides signed a number of deals covering clean technology and environmental protection.

As part of the trip, Chancellor Merkel requested a meeting with civil society leaders. Six representatives were invited, including The Climate Group (the only international NGO), Public Policy Institute and Friends of Nature. She was interested in how environmental NGOs and the wider movement is progressing, what constraints NGOs face and how she could best support the civil society’s work.

Changhua Wu briefed Chancellor Merkel on what The Climate Group is doing in China, her observation of the Chinese civil society development and the role of social media. Changhua Wu also recommended that the EU and China link leadership globally to advance the climate change agenda – a discussion that very much interested the Chancellor, who suggested her Environment Minister continue it after the trip.

“I am very impressed with the Chancellor’s knowledge and attention to China’s environmental movement,” said Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group. “Though both experiencing hard times, the decision makers in Germany and China see opportunities to revive their economies in a sustainable manner. Collaboration rather than conflict is the way out of these difficult times. Deepening understanding on both sides between China and Germany will set a good example and allow leadership for major global players to form consensus and cooperation for a global clean revolution.”

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