Joint China-India study underscores need for South-South exchanges on climate change

Mar 17, 2014

Dr Rajendra K Pachauri (5th from right) spoke on the importance of collaborative climate change research between China and India. Photo: UNDP China

Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), addressed Chinese and international experts on global climate change issues on March 17, at an event organised by UNDP China.

The event centred on discussions on a groundbreaking report between China and India on low carbon collaboration.

Dr. Pachauri focused on the need for enhanced collaborative research between China and India, saying: “The two countries operate in similar contexts in terms of local and global environmental issues that confront them today and will become increasingly important in the future."

"While economic capabilities and institutional systems vary between the two, coordinated knowledge driven processes between China and India will be instrumental in moving both towards global sustainability goals,” he said.

He thanked UNDP for its “patronage, support and deep involvement” in fostering collaboration between the two nations.

The event was also joined by Mr. Zou Ji, Deputy Director General of the National Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation Center (NCSC) and other distinguished speakers. He commented that “it’s high time for us to meet the challenge” of low carbon development, before the findings of the report were shared.

The ‘China-India Low Carbon Study’ represents one of the first collaborative efforts between key research institutes in both countries working on climate change-related issues. It examines the main factors in low carbon development – financing, low carbon technologies and on-the-ground implementation – and provides practical recommendations for greater cooperation between the world’s two most populated countries, helping them to share experiences, promote knowledge exchange and disseminate ideas to shape domestic policies and implementation.

The report builds a convincing case for South-South exchange between the two countries. It notes that developing countries are more likely to focus on innovation that contributes to local environmental benefits and to human development, and calls for more public sector funding for low carbon technologies.  The study also identifies several priority sectors and areas for technology cooperation between China and India, including clean coal incineration and power generation technologies, energy-saving technologies in the industrial, building and transportation sectors, wind power utilization, solar power utilization and carbon capture.

The report also suggests ways in which China and India can better channel funding towards investing in a low carbon economy, involving more participation of local government in China and a stimulus package to strengthen climate change mitigation in India.

Ms. Huang Wenhang, Director of the Division of International Cooperation in the Department of Climate Change of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) expressed hope for the future, stating that “with our joint effort we can work towards a truly low carbon pathway”.

The study is collaborative in nature. From China, the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) is the lead research institute with Central University of Finance and Economics, and Zhejiang University as partner institutes. The Climate Change Department of the NDRC steered the activities of the China component of the project. 

The Indian research institute is The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, and the activities of the India component are being guided by a steering committee chaired by the Planning Commission of India.

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Ms. Zhang Wei, Communications Officer

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