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26 July 2010

EU and China should increase cooperation to fight climate change

Following on from the meeting of the EU-China Civil Society Round Table in Chongqing, a seminar on Trade and Development took place in Shanghai from 22 to 24 July 2010. Linked to the EU Trade Days, this seminar touched upon three main topics: Trade and Development, Trade and Climate Change and Investment and Cooperation.

Welcoming representatives from non state actors, the academic community and public authorities,

Mr Filip Hamro-Drotz, President of the External Relations Section of the EESC, pointed out that 2010 marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the European Union and China.

On the issue of trade and climate change, participants underlined the following:

  • The EU and China should increase their cooperation to fight against climate change, whilst trade can be a useful instrument to promote green growth.

  • It is important to promote the trade of environmental goods and services, in particular wind and hydroelectric turbines, solar-powered boilers, solar panels, seawater desalination plants and wastewater reuse and treatment.

  • With reference to the WTO negotiations, the EU and China should cooperate to find an agreement to lower tariff barriers, concentrating on reducing obstacles to investment and non tariff barriers which continue to seriously hamper the spread of environmentally friendly products.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Sukhdev Sharma, President of the EU-China Follow-up Committee of the EESC underlined that trade alone is not enough to ensure sustainable development. Both China and the EU have a big part to play in this, considering the leading role they take in trade negotiations. This seminar clearly illustrates the benefit of and the need to involve social partners and other civil society organisations in trade discussions.

Mr Guan Chengyuan, standing member of the Economic and Social Council of China, reiterated that the EU and China are partners, not competitors and that the EU-China civil society Round Table can play a major role in promoting EU-China relations.

For more information, please contact, Jean-François Bence,

Tel: +32 2 546 9399, email:

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