In September 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China’s carbon-peaking and carbon-neutral goals to the world at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75), which attracted worldwide attention. As of the end of 2020, China’s car parc has reached 281 million; China is also the world’s largest automotive producer and has the largest automotive market. The automotive industry has great emission-reducing potential in almost every aspect, from the industrial supply side, production manufacturing, product supply to energy supply in use and recycling.
The 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) Enterprise Alliance - Automotive Innovation Special Committee is an industrial organization voluntarily established by exhibitors in the auto exhibition area of CIIE. It aims to build an industry exchange platform, expand CIIE’s influence and spillover effects, and provide services for innovative development of the automotive industry, with members from traditional automobile manufacturing powers such as the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea, which have extensive industrial representation. UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Beijing, as a support unit of the special committee, participates in and supports the committee’s professional seminars, field research, cross-border cooperation and other activities.
On July 14, in order to deepen the international cooperation in industrial innovation and development of enterprises, and promote the realization of China’s Carbon Goals, the 4th CIIE Enterprise Alliance - Automotive Innovation Special Committee and UNIDO ITPO Beijing co-hosted the International Cooperation Seminar on Innovation and Development of Automobile Prioritizing China’s Carbon Goals. International leading enterprises together with stakeholders in the mobility field were invited to high-level dialogues to analyze the opportunities for innovation and prospects for international cooperation in the automotive industry under China’s Carbon Goals, and deliver insights for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) from various perspectives. The event received strong support from China Pacific Insurance and Ford.
Part One Keynote Speech
Liu Fuxue, Deputy Director of China International Import Expo Bureau, Wu Yabin, Head of UNIDO ITPO Beijing Wang Qian, Programme Management Officer at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) China, Zhang Qin, Division Director from the Department of International Cooperation of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Xu Haidong, Deputy Chief Engineer of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), etc. delivered welcome speeches for the seminar. Dr. Gong Weixi, Coordinator of Investment and Technology Promotion Network (ITP Network) Secretariat of UNIDO, also delivered a video speech from UNIDO’s Headquarters in Vienna.
Dr. Gong Weixi, Coordinator of the Investment and Technology Promotion Network (ITP Network) Secretariat of UNIDO welcomed the guests with an invitation - “At your presence as the leading enterprises of car industry, on behalf of UNIDO, I sincerely invite you to join our The Fourth Industrial Revolution Alliance, and to establish a close partnership with us.”
Liu Fuxue, Deputy Director of China International Import Expo Bureau, pointed out that the global automotive industry has entered a period with strategic opportunities for transformation and upgrading. Given the addition of realistic challenges such as China's Carbon Goals, it takes a platform like today’s to leverage the power of CIIE to communicate the voice of the industry, and jointly contribute to the innovation and development of the automotive industry.
Wu Yabin, Head of UNIDO ITPO Beijing, expressed that as a support unit of the CIIE Special Committee, ITPO Beijing will closely cooperate with the Special Committee through global forums, capacity building, investment and technology docking, research and consulting platform networks, etc., to promote investment and technological cooperation in carbon-neutral and carbon-peaking of the automotive industry and contribute to the realization of China’s Carbon Goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals together.
Wang Qian, Programme Management Officer at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) China, expressed that UNEP looks forward to working with all of you and your institutions to strengthen international cooperation for low-carbon and green transportation on a global scale. UNEP is also excited about the discussion and cooperation with everyone based on today’s meeting together to promote pollution and carbon reduction. The successful experience and good practices of yours will be shared with the international community, especially with developing countries, to achieve sustainable development goals.
Xu Haidong, Deputy Chief Engineer of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), pointed out that it is important to continue to promote global political, economic, and technological exchanges, overcome the difficulties of global carbon reduction together, share scientific and technological achievements, in order to make contributions to the global response to climate change.
Xiang Xiaofang, Vice President of Government Affairs, Ford Motor China, pointed out that Ford has invested more than $11.5 billion in the development of electric vehicle products, including the upcoming Battery Electric Vehicle. Ford is steadily promoting the use of 100% local renewable energy in all of its manufacturing plants by 2035.
Wang Zhaohua, Senior Vice President of Michelin China Investment Co., Ltd., pointed out that in recent years, Michelin has put forward the vision of “All-Sustainable”, seeking the best balance between People, Profit and Planet. To this end, Michelin have established Michelin’s own carbon goal in response to global environmental issues, which is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% compared to 2010 by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Part Two: Expert Sharing
Liu Bin, Chief Expert of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center and Deputy Director of Strategy and Policy Research Center, and Zhang Shuo, Senior Director at European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) Beijing Office, respectively shared in-depth perspectives with the theme of “China’s Automotive Industry Policy Analysis on Innovation and Development of Automobile Prioritizing China’s Carbon Goals” and “European Automotive Industry Carbon Emission Policy Introduction”.
Liu Bin, Chief Expert of China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) & Deputy Director of Strategy and Policy Research Center, used “You are the electricity, the light, the only legend” to stress that globally, electrifying all final consumption is the obvious way to reduce energy emissions.
Zhang Shuo, Senior Director of European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) Beijing Office, pointed out that be it China, the US, Japan or Korea, when governments announce their carbon dioxide or climate change targets, not only would new industry regulations be formulated, but also many new challenges and tasks be set.
Part Three Round Table Dialogue
Representatives from Daimler, Volvo, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, STELLANTIS and other companies exchanged opinions. The guests together had lively discussions on the development of the automobile industry and a green and sustainable future.
Leng Yan, Executive Vice President of Daimler Greater China Ltd., pointed out that as the largest manufacturing factory of Mercedes-Benz in the world, Beijing Benz continuously contributes to energy saving, emission reduction and environmental protection. With all its work being steadily progressing, Beijing Benz plays a leading role in this industry.
Liu Ying, Vice President of Government Affairs of Volvo Car Asia Pacific, expressed that environmental protection and sustainable development have been the cornerstone of Volvo’s long-term growth. Volvo has taken the lead in sustainable development in the industry for a long time - it had put forward our environmental declaration at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Volvo has always been known for its safety. In fact, sustainability and safety are equally important to Volvo.
Li Jie, Executive Vice President of Jaguar Land Rover (China) Ltd., pointed out that Jaguar Land Rover aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2039 from its industrial chain including supply, production, consumers and sales. The electrification of products is inherently one means of achieving carbon-neutral, so Jaguar Land Rover need to be fully carbon neutral by 2039.
Wang Jing, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of General Motors (China), pointed out that GM has set clear goals as milestones. More than 40% of the new cars GM plans to launch in China in 2025 will be new energy cars. In addition, in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund, GM is going to achieve zero emission for all new light vehicles by 2035.
Zhi Yixiang, Director of Public Affairs at Volkswagen Group China, expressed that carbon emissions are mainly generated in the process of car use. While currently there’s no related policy on how to encourage the adoption of green electricity at their departure side or at home. Volkswagen hopes the National Energy Administration can introduce mechanisms to facilitate the adaptation of personal green electricity purchases.
Wu Jianjun, Director of STELLANTIS, pointed out that many departments are promoting carbon peak and neutrality research, for example, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. STELLANTIS hopes for a unified plan and arrangement which are of great benefit for the auto industry to respond actively to potential challenges. Furthermore, in terms of policy predictability, STELLANTIS are looking forward to a predictable and relatively stable policy environment.
This is the first international seminar jointly hosted by the CIIE Special Committee and an international organization focusing on key industries of carbon reduction since the announcement of China’s carbon-peaking and carbon-neutrality goals. It is also the first policy dialogue and knowledge-sharing event for partners and experts in the smart mobility field under the Fourth Industrial Revolution Alliance of UNIDO. During the seminar, 14 Global 500 automobile enterprises and two auto industry-leading players discussed and communicated with policy-making departments of China and specialized agencies of the United Nations. Under a distinct theme, the event is professional, effective and “thirst-quenching”. With the help of the CIIE, a national-level platform, the event serves as a professional and practical platform that promotes political and business exchanges and enterprise innovation, as well as innovation and sustainable development of the auto industry. Participants of the seminar called for more similar events in the future for its great value in discussing hot topics in the industry, opening communication channels between government and enterprises, to promote the sustainable and healthy development of China’s automobile industry, and facilitate “Dual Circulation” development pattern, thus enabling global enterprises to grasp China’s opportunities and letting the world benefit more from China’s development.
This year, the 4th CIIE will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from November 5 to 10. Together with China International Import Expo Bureau, UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Network will host a high-level forum on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Smart Mobility”, focusing on opportunities and challenges in regional industrial chain cooperation, smart energy and smart circular economy, as well as smart mobility and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome policy, industry, business and knowledge partners to reinvigorate the mobility sector and ensure that “No one is left behind”.
Last November, UNIDO launched its Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Alliance. This year, we will continue to expand the membership of the Alliance by inviting domestic and international partners who are committed to Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) to join the Alliance. We are looking forward to working with more partners to respond to the opportunities and challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.