The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) agreed to launch the process of establishing a new centre in Beijing that would facilitate enhanced collaboration in key areas such as energy security, energy data and statistics, energy policy analysis, renewables, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol announced the development of the new IEA-China Energy Co-operation Centre during a ceremony in Beijing marking 20 years of IEA-China engagement. The ceremony drew more than 200 participants, including NEA Administrator Nur Bekri, Commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics Ning Jizhe, and diplomats and executives of top Chinese energy companies.
Expected to serve as an umbrella under which a wide variety of co-operative bilateral programs will be co-ordinated, the centre would be scaled up in phases, with the first phase focusing largely on liaison and co-ordination activities.
“With the development of this landmark centre, the IEA and China can realize the full potential of our co-operation and move together towards a more sustainable energy future,” Dr. Birol said.
Administrator Bekri said, “Both NEA and the IEA have agreed to launch the process of establishing the IEA-China Energy Co-operation Centre.” He added, “Recently, outcomes of bilateral co-operation continue to be upgraded to increasingly higher levels.”
The announcement of the new centre comes as China continues to make impressive progress in its efforts to transition to a more secure and sustainable energy system. IEA preliminary data released earlier this month show that that China’s energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 1.5% in 2015 – a major factor in allowing global emissions to stay flat even as economic growth expanded. Much of China’s success in this area stems from its leadership in renewable energy: China is the world’s largest wind power market and the world’s largest producer of hydroelectricity, and it is adding more solar PV capacity each year than any other country.
Development of the centre follows China’s decision in November 2015 during the IEA Ministerial Meeting in Paris to join, together with Indonesia and Thailand, IEA Association, an initiative that is key to the IEA’s recent efforts to modernise the Agency by opening its doors to emerging economies.