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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…

The Chinese economy has continuously seen rapid growth over the past years, which has led to a unique increase in passenger and freight traffic volumes. Every day, 35,000 vehicles are joining more than 120 million existing passenger cars on Chinese roads. Notwithstanding the undoubted significant role of the transport sector to support economic development, the subsequent environmental consequences are severe. In Beijing, for instance, approx. 25-30% of pollutants are emitted by mobile on-road emissions. Hence, the central and local governments are keen on adopting necessary measures in order to lower mobile source emissions. Understanding the source of the problem is key in developing adequate policy measures. This is why the Vehicle Emission Control Centre (VECC) of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) together with the Sino-German project on Low Carbon Transport and the Environmental Partnership organised a two day workshop from 3rd to 4th March 2016 on Mobile Source…

Within the past decade demand for freight and logistic services around Asia has been on a continuous rise. Driven by increasing economic growth and Asia’s ever rising importance as global production hub, this trend does not seem to slow down. This development positively contributes to local and regional economies as well as helps to alleviate poverty in the region. However, this trend also implicates negative side effects. Within the transport sector, freight and logistic services in many Asian countries account for up to 40% of total energy use and contribute equally to local air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, a call for greener freight and logistic services in Asia was made and the industry is noticing a rising interest in environmentally sustainable operations. Within this context, the GIZ “Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Mitigation in the Land Transport Sector in the ASEAN Region” project and the Asian Development…

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the city partnership between Berlin and Beijing, Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, and a German business delegation visited Beijing at the end of May. As part of this visit, Klaus Wowereit and Zhang Gong, Vice Mayor of Beijing, partook in the “Beijing-Berlin E-Mobility Conference”. The conference was hosted by the Berlin Agency for Electromobility (eMO) and the Sino-German Electric Vehicle Charging Project (SGEVCP). The SGEVCP is coordinated by GIZ and commissioned by the German government. In cooperation with partners from industry, academia and the Beijing government the project aims to support the set-up of private and public charging infrastructure for New Energy Vehicle (NEV) in Beijing. At the conference, the SGEVCP was presented by Dr. Zhixin Wu from the China Automotive Technology and Research Institute (CATARC). Furthermore, Chinese and German representatives gave insights into different projects enabling electro-mobility in Beijing and…

Thick haze regularly envelopes Beijing and receives high attention within public debates and the media. Major contributors to bad air quality in the capital are particulate matter – tiny pieces of solid matter suspended in the air. Particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micron (PM2.5) impose a severe human health risk. Due to the small size PM2.5 quickly and adversely affects the respiratory tract and can result in lung cancer as well as other cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Last September, Beijing released a Five-Year Clean Air Action Plan (2013-2017) to effectively tackle its air pollution problem and aims to reduce PM2.5 by 25% until 2017. Reducing PM2.5 emissions originating from the transport sector is one of the corner pillars of the plan. As a multi-source pollutant PM2.5 is challenging to control. Additionally, half of PM2.5 emissions are not directly emitted, but are oxidations of other air pollutants -…

Individual motorised transport in Beijing has increased strongly over the last years. In order to identify appropriate measures to minimise air pollution, congestion and global emissions, the Transport Demand Management Project developed a model to quantify transport related emissions. China’s economic growth over the last three decades has had numerous positive effects, but it has also led to a tremendous increase of individual motorised transport. In Beijing, the stock of 5 million cars increases air pollution, congestion, parking problems as well as the number of accidents. The strong growth of individual motorised transport and its negative effects, including rising GHG emissions, have become a growing challenge for Beijing and other large cities in China. In order to assess the emissions impact in Beijing, GIZ, its partners at the Beijing Transportation Research Center (BTRC), and the Swiss INFRAS Institute developed an emission modelling database and model to quantify GHG emissions from…

In February 2014, hazardous smog in Beijing once more made headlines across the world. Particulate matter measurements (PM2.5) temporarily exceeded the 25 micrograms 24-hour mean considered safe by the World Health Organization by 15 times. For one day Beijing’s authorities raised its air pollution alert to orange, the second highest of the four-tiered system. To tackle the repeating smog events, Beijing released its Clean Air Action Plan last autumn, outlining the introduction of a congestion charge and an expansion of the low emission zone policy in Beijing. According to current estimates, the transport sector accounts for approximately 22% of Beijing’s PM2.5 air pollution. To remove highly polluting vehicles from Beijing’s roads a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) within in the 5th ring road was implemented for vehicles that cannot meet the Euro I emission standard (so called yellow label vehicles) in 2009. With the start of this year the zone was…

With the Chinese New Year festival starting tomorrow Beijing looks back on the year of the snake. In 2013 transport has been an important topic in Beijing. Citizens and policy makers discussed new ideas how to tackle transport-related problems since traffic congestion and air pollution remain prevailing issues. As 2013 started with hazardous smog for consecutive days, echoing in headlines across the world, special attention was given to measures handling the basic course. At the top, Beijing’s five-year Clean Air Action Plan (2013-2017) was unveiled in September 2013. Transport-related policies are a key element of the plan. Beijing’s authorities will continue their traffic restricting policies as well as advance the promotion of vehicle fuel efficiency and environmental performance. The plan states 84 specific tasks with more than 30 responsible bodies involved to clear up the city’s sky. Transport-related measures that were discussed and implemented in Beijing in 2013 comprise a broad…

From 1st to 3rd of November GIZ, CUSTReC and EMBARQ jointly convened the international expert workshop Prospects for National-Level Programmes and Funds for Sustainable Urban Transport in China. The interactive workshop took place about 80 km from Beijing in a small hotel in Mutianyu at the Great Wall. In the context of urbanization and motorization, Chinese cities are investing in the design, construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure as well as financing operation of mobility services. This is a rising challenge for both the national and local governments. To develop ideas on how to establish a financing system in a sustainable way, experts from China and abroad met to gain a better understanding of current institutional and financial arrangements in China for sustainable urban transport and learn from international experiences. The key focus was the development of specific recommendations for the Chinese situation and funding practice. Having identified challenges in…