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China and France to Co-write a New Chapter of Green Energy Development

 By TAN Xianchun


Bilateral trade between China and France has grown by almost 800 times since they established diplomatic relations in 1964. China is France's largest trading partner in Asia, while France ranks as China's third-largest trading partner within the European Union. In recent years, their collaboration has yielded fruitful results in energy transition and green development, which have become new highlights of their pragmatic cooperation in the 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In 2021, the first domestic offshore wind power project with foreign investment, jointly developed by CHN Energy and Electricité de France, was successfully put into operation, with an annual output of 1.39 billion kilowatt-hours. Subsequently, both sides further enhanced their cooperation by jointly planning and executing the "Wind-Solar-Hydrogen Storage" offshore comprehensive smart energy island demonstration project, with a total installed capacity of 1.5 million kilowatts .

In addition, China COSCO Shipping (COSCO) inked a memorandum of cooperation with CMA-CGM and Shanghai International Port Group for the supply of green methanol. The three parties will work together to procure, supply, and deliver green methanol fuel for the future methanol dual-fuel fleets of CMA CGM and COSCO in major Chinese ports, setting an example for collaboration in the green shipping industry.

The collaboration between China and France on energy transition has presented many unique advantages and promises even greater potential in the future. In 2023, a joint declaration was issued by the two sides, establishing climate as a priority and achieving low-carbon energy transition as a common aspiration. Furthermore, the goal set by COP28 to triple global installed capacity of renewable energy by 2030 compared to 2020 has opened up new prospects for China-France cooperation.

In terms of cooperation areas, France not only has traditional competitiveness in nuclear energy but also actively promotes research and development of renewable energy technologies such as hydrogen power. By contrast, China has significant economies of scale in wind power, photovoltaics, and new energy vehicle batteries, possessing nearly one-third of the world's renewable energy technology patents and leading the world in critical minerals and component production essential for green supply chains.

Further consolidation and expansion of cooperation between the two countries in energy transition and green development will create enormous economic and environmental benefits. At the same time, as vital forces supporting the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, China and France should fully leverage the potential of their climate cooperation to foster "multilateralism" through "bilateralism" and facilitate the realization of global carbon neutrality goals.