Beijing and Moscow forced to step up cooperation on green energy

China Russia Photo: VCG

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will begin on February 4. Based on the “Green Olympics” concept, the 26 Games venues will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The idea of ​​the “Green Olympics” provides Chinese wisdom on how to deal with the relationship between development and conservation.

In order to meet the serious challenge of global warming, China and Russia have set the strategic goal of reducing emissions of low-carbon gases and green gases, which puts forward new requirements for energy transformation in the two countries, while creating new opportunities for green energy cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.

Green and sustainable development is a common goal of China and Russia. Promoting the energy transition and developing cooperation in the field of green energy is therefore in their common interest.

China remains the biggest carbon emitter and Russia is one of the world’s major powers with the highest carbon emissions intensity. Both countries are in the process of industrialization and face pressure to reduce their emissions. They also face the threat of trade protectionism and Western sanctions. The implementation of the European carbon tax at the borders, in particular, will cause huge losses for Russian energy exports. Therefore, closer cooperation on green energy is in line with the common interests of China and Russia.

Saving energy and reducing emissions have been prioritized by both countries. China presented its solemn commitment to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In October 2021, Moscow also approved a new 2050 strategy for social and economic development low greenhouse gas emissions, describing low greenhouse gas development measures. until 2050.

Natural gas cooperation is of great strategic importance to the two giant nations. For China, natural gas is important in promoting energy transformation, haze control and atmospheric environment improvement. As China has become the world’s largest importer of natural gas, cooperation with Russia can help China obtain a stable and long-term guarantee for natural gas, which is of great strategic importance for China. safeguarding national energy security and establishing a diversified overseas energy supply system.

Europe’s energy exports from Russia declined after the imposition of the carbon tax at EU borders. Therefore, China, as a stable gas export market, is of strategic importance for the Russian energy sector. In recent years, the two countries have cooperated in many natural gas projects. In the future, Beijing and Moscow should continue to deepen their cooperation in the field of natural gas for a continuous integration of interests.

China and Russia also have a good basis for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. Russia has accumulated rich experience in the field of nuclear energy development, and China and Russia have been engaged in cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for many years. China’s Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants are two successful examples.

Besides deepening cooperation in traditional fields such as nuclear power, nuclear fuel and fast neutron reactors, China and Russia should actively explore the potential for cooperation in new fields such as nuclear medicine, the protection of the nuclear environment and the digitization of the development of renewable energies. In addition, the two countries should explore various models of cooperation, such as joint research and development, construction, as well as the implementation and transformation of scientific and technological achievements.

Hydrogen energy cooperation is also an important direction for Sino-Russian joint exploration. Russia has proposed in the 2050 Strategy for Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Social and Economic Development to diversify energy sources and let natural gas, hydrogen and ammonia play a greater role in low carbon energy structure.

Since Russia has a unique resource base and industrial conditions for the development of hydrogen energy, China and Russia can cooperate in low-carbon hydrogen production and hydrogen transportation. long-distance and large-scale, jointly exploring the construction of a Sino-Russian green network. hydrogen based.

Green finance can help promote energy cooperation between the two nations. Green credit, green bonds, green trusts, green funds, green insurance, supply chain finance and other financial tools can expand financing channels for green energy cooperation . Strengthening support for the insurance of green energy investment policies can lay the financial foundation for the development of green energy cooperation between the two countries.

The author is a research fellow at the Institute of Eastern European, Russian and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article is part of a series under a project that aims to analyze Sino-Russian relations in the context of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. [email protected]

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