Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

China seeks renewable energy partnership

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said China wants to collaborate with the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region to reduce carbon emissions.

ABU DHABI // The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, yesterday expressed his country's interest in collaborating with the UAE on renewable energy projects.

Mr Wen, who is attending the World Future Energy Summit, commented on the region's "important strategic position" for China.

"We cannot ignore the unique status and role of West Asia and North Africa," Mr Wen told delegates at the high-profile annual event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, opened the summit.

During his speech, Mr Wen described the people of the region as "talented, courageous, hard-working and warm-hearted".

"China will work more closely with other countries to enhance green innovation," he said.

Mr Wen also described what his country has done to reduce its carbon emissions.

China is the world's top greenhouse gas emitter, but it emits less on a per-capita basis than the UAE.

Until recently, China has relied mainly on coal-fired plants to meet its energy needs. But the country has also committed to investing in clean energy and in industrial-level energy efficiency schemes. Because of these efforts, Mr Wen said, China is saving 148 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Until last year, China had 200 gigawatts capacity of hydro power and 47 gigawatts capacity of wind power, Mr Wen said. In 2011, the country committed to a development plan that has made reducing the carbon intensity of the country's emissions a key priority. By 2015, China plans to increase its energy efficiency by 16 per cent and reduce carbon intensity by 17 per cent, Mr Wen said.

Experts welcomed his comments.

"For me, the speech was very specific, very detailed," said Dr Kandeh Yumkella, the secretary general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. "He gave numbers that can be verified about what China has done."

Fatih Birol, of the International Energy Agency, said the country had also provided electricity to 500 million people in the space of ten years. By comparison, he said, some countries in West Africa chose to export oil and gas while leaving many of their citizens without electricity.

"I will not give examples and name these countries, but in one of them 50 per cent of the population have no access to electricity," he said.

Mr Birol said governments worldwide needed to encourage investment in renewable energy.

He noted that subsidies of fossil fuels were estimated at US$400 billion (Dh1.46 trillion) globally.

"It is like eating junk food after a fitness run," he said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National