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China: Climate Pioneer or Climate Sinner?

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.

  • International Affairs
  • 75 min.

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.