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Valentin Krüsmann

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Sandra Retzer serves as Director of the Development Policy Forum at GIZ Head Office in Germany. She formerly supported the Sustainable Mobility Team at GIZ in China as Head of Cluster and Project Director.

Over the past twenty years, the Chinese transport sector has undergone a monumental transformation. Today, China is the world’s largest car market, has the planet’s largest High-Speed Rail (HSR) system, is the world’s second largest civil aviation market and houses seven of the planet’s ten largest container ports. An astounding achievement considering the country had under 20,000 registered private cars in 1985 and not a single HSR line until 2008. Simply phrased, China has ‘put the pedal to the metal’. However, China’s rise came along with alarming environmental and climate change issues as transport emissions have increased more than tenfold since 1980. Today, China is not only the world’s single largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, but its transport sector is the country’s third largest contributor. Furthermore, China is plagued by notorious air pollution that provokes alarming health concerns amongst its 1.4 billion strong population. With incomes continuing to grow among…

How can firms like Mobike and Meituan reduce their environmental footprint while simultaneously advancing their business models? This was the central theme of the Beijing Cleantech Hackathon, held at Innoway, a start-up space in Zhongguancun, Beijing’s well-known science and technology park, on 20 and 21 October 2018. GIZ sponsored the 12-hour hackathon which was organized by The Beijing Energy Network (BEN) and New Energy Nexus. The event brought together some of Beijing’s most talented students, professionals, developers, and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative solutions for tackling the wide array of sustainability challenges facing China today. The individual challenges were sponsored by Mobike and Meituan, two firms which have been instrumental in shaping the wider developments of China’s contemporary mobility and food-delivery sector. While Meituan’s Qingshan Foundation asked participants to develop solutions to promote the recycling of delivery waste at universities, Mobike challenged participants to come up with innovative solutions…