Second SASS-FES Forum on Green Development

Event: Sustainable Growth Model

On April 21st 2017, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Shanghai jointly organized a workshop on the topic of “Building a low-carbon city”.

Prof. Zhou discussing with other participants
Prof. Zhou discussing with other participants

Many cities worldwide face challenges due to constant urbanization and increasing environmental problems. For this growth to be sustainable, cities therefore have to find new strategies to face existing and future challenges. Germany has already been dealing for several decades with some of the issues China is now increasingly facing such as air pollution and a growing hunger for electricity. Therefore, the second Forum on Green Development of FES and SASS aimed at discussing experiences made on both sides and providing helpful solutions as well as identifying mistakes to be avoided. In Germany Green Development, or the “Green Change”, is a multi-layered strategy to save energy on a large scale and to promote renewable energy. China has also developed ways to deal with existing problems.

Among the main goals of this second forum was therefore to discuss common problems and to go further and examine legal measures in China, Germany and Europe which support a Green Development. Moreover, international, national and regional programmes were presented that give consumers, the platform to compete with each other for the best concepts, but also to exchange experiences and knowledge. Finally, after discussing how to entice consumers to save energy and to invest money for further energy and money savings, a closer look was given to emission trading as an exemplary measure for engaging energy consumers, in this case the industry.

FES Shanghai invited German experts in the fields of municipal energy provision, international cooperation of municipalities, the Head of the Energy Department of the city of Hamburg’s Ministry of Environment and Energy and an emissions market expert at the European Energy Exchange to present and discuss German experiences. All of them were curious to discuss their findings and proposals with the Chinese scholars invited by SASS.

Dr. Dietrich presenting the example of Hamburg

Mr. Roman Serdar Mendle, Smart Cities Program Manager at the ICLEI World Secretariat, started the workshop with an overview of arising problems of cities. Mrs. Simone Käske, Senior Policy Officer Energy Efficiency, Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU e.V.), introduced the audience to European and German laws to manage the Green Development and the strategies municipal energy suppliers employ to deal with those requirements. Dr. Björn Dietrich, Head of the Energy Department at the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Hamburg, explained the situation of the city and discussed not only a wide range of measures taken to involve the industry to reach the city’s goals for 2020, 2030 and 2050, but also the success the different programs have had.

Mr. Tobias Clermont, Officer with Procuration / Head of urban quarter concepts with the Innovation City Management GmbH, gave an insightful speech about concrete measures of the city of Bottrop in North-Rhine Westphalia. He explained how through joint efforts of all stakeholders (the city, private consumers, and the industries) Bottrop has already accomplished a decrease of 37.4 % of CO2-emissions within only 5 years.  Mr. Manuel Möller, Business Development Senior Expert with the European Energy Exchange (EEX) AG, outlined the European system of emission trading, its tools and goals as well as possible amendments in the future.

The Chinese experts shared experiences from Shanghai and China in general, for example discussing the Chinese emission trade as well as its practical implications at Bao Steel, one of the largest Chinese steel makers. Among the experts were high ranking scholars as well as experienced practitioners such as Prof. Li Junfeng, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, Prof.  Zhou Fengqi , Institute of Ecology and Sustainable Development, SASS, Prof. Yu Hongyuan, Director of the Institute for Comparative Politics and Public Policy, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), as well as Prof. Li Yihai, Think Tank Foundation, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

All the participants were of the opinion that the concept of “Green Development” as well as the involvement of all relevant stakeholders should be an integral part to all urban and regional planning processes and that further cooperation was necessary.

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