Photo: Laurence Chaperon

China: Climate Pioneer or Climate Sinner?

  • KörberForum
  • Discussion
  • International Affairs

EU and Germany must cooperate also with China for climate action. The politician Jürgen Trittin, journalist Hongqiao Liu and climate activist Annika Kruse discuss the relations with a country that is both a climate pioneer and a climate sinner.

China shows its two faces when it comes to climate protection: As an innovation economy and with a population of 1.4 billion, the country is the world’s biggest climate polluter in absolute terms. It produces sixteen times more CO2 emissions per year than Germany. At the same time, China has the second largest solar park in the world and is rapidly expanding its renewable energy sources to be climate neutral by 2060.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, politicians look at Europe’s dependence on Chinese rare earths, needed for the energy transition, with growing concern. But despite all political tensions, the EU and Germany must work together with China to fight climate change.

A few days after the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Egypt, we will discuss our relations with a country that is both – a climate pioneer and climate sinner – with Jürgen Trittin, member of the German Bundestag for Alliance90/The Greens and foreign policy spokesman for his party, freelance journalist and political consultant Hongqiao Liu, and Annika Kruse, climate activist and spokesperson for Fridays for Future Hamburg. And we will learn what the fight against climate change looks like in China itself and what role civil society plays in an environment with limited civil rights.

Moderation: Julia Ganter, Körber-Stiftung.

The event will be held in English with simultaneous translation into German. The livestream will be available only in English.

Kehrwieder 12
20457 Hamburg

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Annika Kruse is a climate activist and spokesperson for Fridays for Future Hamburg. She is studying political science at the University of Hamburg.

Hongqiao Liu is an independent journalist and policy advisor who has been covering China’s environmental crisis and decarbonization since 2010.

Julia Ganter is Programme Manager at Körber-Stiftung, where she is responsible for the foundation’s regional focus on Asia and the annual foreign policy publication and survey “The Berlin Pulse”.

Jürgen Trittin, former Federal Minister for the Environment, is currently serving as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the German Parliament and has been since 2014. Since the 20th parliamentary term, he further serves as foreign policy spokesperson for the parliamentary group Alliance 90/The Greens. He served as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 1998 to 2005.