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China: resource security and sustainability

Oilfield Technology,

EU – China relations
One of the largest economic relationships in the world is that of China and the EU. It provides unparalleled potential for driving innovation and cost reduction in climate friendly goods and services. At the EU-China level, renewed engagement on resources, energy and climate security could act as a driving force for global sustainable development.

China and the EU have put energy and resource efficiency as well as low carbon energy supplies at the centre of their strategic plans. Both have launched a range of sectored and city level initiatives to provide lessons and best practice guidelines. However, competitiveness concerns and competing development priorities stand in the way of a more ambitious partnership between the above. Meanwhile, the global resource landscape has undergone major changes, with significant supply and political implications for China and the EU.

As there are deepening interdependencies surrounding energy supply and clean investment markets, it is critical to reinvigorate this relationship based on new strategic realities. Regular exchanges with experts and policy makers in both the EU and China is part of what Chatham House is working to develop practical approaches to, to enhance cooperation on climate and resource security.

China’s agenda
China is at the centre of a global web of resource related interdependencies. The choices made by Chinese leaders and companies over the next 10 years are going to have global implications for resource stress, prices, investment and the environment.

Resource security is integral to the strategic thinking of new Chinese leaders faced with growing pressures surrounding everything from energy security to water scarcity, to air quality to food prices. It is also a driver behind greener policies in the country, from energy efficiency to low carbon energy.

Future resources
Resource scarcity is both real and perceived and is becoming a major item on the global policy agenda. It calls into question the sustainability level of current developmental paths and highlights the resource implications of a global transition to a low carbon economy. China is at the centre of a new and evolving political economy, and the country’s increasing demand for resources as the factory of the world is driving global trends in trade and consumption.

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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