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EU and China to collaborate on low-carbon city projects

The European Union’s climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC, and the fourth largest city of China, Tianjin, have agreed to collaborate on the JiefangNan Rd New Meijiang pilot, a low-carbon city project. The agreement was signed in Beijing last week in the presence of China’s Premier Li Keqiang and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.

Climate-KIC CEO Mary Ritter and District Mayor Peng San of Tianjin City’s Hexi District formalized the agreement by signing a statement of intent in the Chinese capital’s Great Hall of the People, where the EU-China Summit was taking place.

Climate-KIC and the city of Tianjin intend to establish a long-term collaborative relationship on projects that stimulate sustainable growth and are currently developing plans for pilot projects on green building retrofit and smart city systems.

The memorandum of understanding is underpinned by an agreement between China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, within the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership.

The EU is China’s biggest trading partner, while China is the EU’s largest source of imports and second largest two-way trading partner.

Climate-KIC is the European Union’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EU body tasked with creating sustainable growth.

Climate-KIC currently has centers in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK and is represented in the regions of Valencia, Central Hungary, Emilia Romagna, Lower Silesia, Hessen and the West Midlands.

The EU-China Urbanization Partnership Forum in Beijing was organized by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, under the high patronage of Premier Li Keqiang and President José Manuel Barroso.

The forum was organized within the framework of the EU-China Urbanization Partnership, launched in May 2012 in Brussels, and is intended to be a milestone in the strategic relations between China and the EU.

It addresses a crucial Chinese challenge, urbanization, through a networking approach between Chinese and EU cities and regions. It is the first time that local and regional authorities will play a leading role in such international relations.

Several Commissioners, a number of EU mayors and top experts and business representatives formed the EU delegation, and met their counterparts in China. The EU-China Urbanization Forum included a Plenary Session and five sub-fora: Green Cities, Smart Cities, Innovative Cities, Urban Mobility and Cultural Heritage.

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