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How Edinburgh is shaping a low carbon future in China

Posted: 12th November 2018

One of the world’s fastest growing economies, China contributes more than one quarter of global greenhouse emissions annually. Just under two-thirds of the country’s energy comes from coal and one-quarter from oil & gas. Renewables account for just 11% of its energy consumption.

As the country continues to industrialise, there is a real risk its growing greenhouse gas emissions could undermine international efforts to mitigate climate change.

The Chinese government is aware of the enormous responsibility it shoulders. In 2016 it ratified the Paris Agreement, committed to cut the carbon intensity of its GDP by 65%, and increase non fossil-fuel energy sources to 20% by 2030.  To be achievable, these goals require international cooperation on an unprecedented scale

Launched with the support of Edinburgh experts this autumn, the China-UK Low Carbon College (LCC) in Lingang, Shanghai, will undertake pioneering research and education on carbon reduction.

The country’s first college for the study of low-carbon technology will become a key centre for the exchange of ideas, talent, technology and resources to tackle global environmental challenges.

Students, academics and industry experts from China, the UK and around the globe will develop new ideas including better construction practices, air quality and energy efficiency. Researchers will also consider how to create smarter cities that use data and digital technology to improve quality of life.

The new college is a joint initiative between The University of Edinburgh, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Lingang City, and is based in a custom-designed facility in Lingang, south of Shanghai.

University of Edinburgh Business School’s MSc Carbon Finance is among a number of programmes contributing part of a two and a half year masters programme at the Low Carbon College. The entire programme is taught in English and attracts students from China and beyond. The aim is to grow the student population at the LCC to more than 1,000.

Our new partnership in China builds on the achievements of The University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). Through its Ideas Lab – Scotland’s first low carbon business incubator – it has already helped more than 1,000 Scottish companies develop their business and build international links. It continues to create opportunities for innovative firms around Edinburgh dedicated to climate change mitigation.

Edinburgh’s business community can also engage and benefit from this collaboration by hosting student internships, consulting projects, and company-sponsored dissertations.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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