Historic breakthrough as EU and China unite on climate

Global transition

Clarification added on 02/06/2017, 8:00PM CET: The EU and China agreed to step up cooperation on climate change today, but the statement is to be published at a later moment.

In a statement to be released today at a joint high-profile summit in Brussels, the EU and China reaffirm their unequivocal commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and establish a closer partnership on climate action and the clean energy transition.

Commenting on the joint declaration, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“The statement is a milestone in the history of the global climate diplomacy. Never before have these two countries worked so closely together to tackle climate change. This historic partnership to push forward with the Paris Agreement is a significant advance in the fight against climate change. Through deeper cooperation on climate action the EU and China can propel the global clean energy transition. We hope that the two partners will now move from statements to action and scale up their respective Paris climate pledges before 2020 in order to be able to reach the long term commitment of the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.”

Highlights from the statement:

  • the EU and China committed to develop long-term decarbonisation plans by 2020 and to cooperate on their formulation through regular technical dialogues; this means that the EU and China will join forces to develop guidebooks for how to manage the transition to zero-emissions economy;
  • the EU and China committed to work together on very specific elements of the energy transition through the 2017-2018 Work Plan of the EU-China Roadmap on Energy Cooperation, which includes the organisation of a range of workshops and seminars on renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy market design and grid development as well as expert dialogues on the deployment of zero emission vehicles; especially the last will be very beneficial for the EU as China is miles ahead in the development of electric vehicles;
  • the EU and China committed to set up triangular cooperation on promoting the zero carbon transition in developing countries, thereby both supporting specific projects on the ground in vulnerable countries and enlarging the coalition of countries moving forward with the implementation of the Paris Agreement.



Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director, wendel@caneurope.org, +32 473 170 887

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738


Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.


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