UK-China collaboration to tackle climate change and energy security
Post Date: 18 September 2012
The UK and China have formed a strategic alliance aimed at understanding how, together, they can best tackle climate change and ensure energy security.
Similar projects are also ongoing between the UK and 12 other countries and involve the development of climate and energy modeling software.
The arrangement with China is built upon collaboration between British officials and China's Energy Research Institute (ERI) to adapt the UK government's 2050 Pathways Analysis Calculator to their own particular needs.
This online tool, originally developed by David Mackay, chief scientific adviser at DECC, allows individuals and organisations to explore the energy-related risks and trade-offs of different actions into the future; for example, the balance between energy efficiency and building power generation capacity, and the implications of deploying different types of plant from new nuclear to wind power.
In addition, My2050, published alongside the 2050 Calculator, helps the public to visualise and debate the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions up to 2050.
"The 2050 Calculator is a ground-breaking tool to help countries better plan their future energy strategy, in a transparent and evidence-based way. We welcome the work of our Chinese colleagues," said Ed Davey, the energy secretary.
A high-level conference is to be held in Beijing in a year's time, convened by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with the support of the British Embassy Beijing, and the ERI.
DECC's director of strategy, Ravi Gurumurthy, said: "We are collaborating with China and other countries in building a wider base for this innovative and practical analysis, and I would like to invite other interested countries to join us in enriching this collaboration further."
Belgium and South Korea are two other countries already developing a similar project with the help of DECC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Ten developing countries will also be assisted to develop their own calculators over the next two years, using £2.1m of funding from the UK’s International Climate Fund, which it set up to help developing countries tackle climate change and reduce poverty.
The UK and China will engage with these and other developing and developed countries at the conference to promote the use of this modelling methodology.
The China Calculator was supported by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Prosperity Fund programme, which aims to tackle climate change, strengthen energy security and promote an open global economy in key emerging economies.
DECC's Carbon Plan, published in December last year, used the 2050 Calculator to illustrate three 2050 futures that show some of the plausible routes towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction target.
Story: David Thorpe, News Editor