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ZHAW Contributes to Sustainable Low Carbon City Development in China

During President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Switzerland in January 2017, a MoU in the field of energy had been signed between the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and the National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic China. The MoU emphasizes a close cooperation between Switzerland and China particularly in the fields of renewable energies, integration of electricity and nuclear research.

Furthering the Sino-Swiss cooperation in the energy sector, in February 2017 the Center for Asia Business (CAB) of the Zurich University of Applied Science's International Management Institute (IMI) hosted a study trip to Switzerland for a 25-person delegation from China's Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone (ZETDZ). The study trip was organized around the topic 'Low Carbon and Sustainable City Development' and tied in with a previously conducted training for government officials of the city of Zhenjiang on topics of Industry Park Management, Business Model Innovation, and Green Economy.

The current study trip gave the guests from China a comprehensive insight into the topics of green and renewable energy, low-carbon urban development, green building architecture, sustainable agriculture, and long-term industrial zone management. Part of the program was a symposium about Low Carbon City Development with specialists from ZHAW, the Winterthur government and various local enterprises, allowing a profound exchange of expertise among the participants. City Counselor Mr. Stefan Fritsch and the head of the ZETDZ Delegation, Mr. Zhu Xiaoyang, both addressed the relevance and urgency of sustainable urban development in their opening speeches. Winterthur, which holds the European Energy Gold Award in addition to its Energy City Label, can serve as a benchmark for the city of Zhenjiang.

Energy saving and emissions reduction measures are the most important tasks for China’s urbanization program and future low carbon city development. Since 2010, ‘Low Carbon City’ pilot schemes were formally introduced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China. The main aims of the pilot programs are to develop low carbon dioxide emission industries, establish a greenhouse gas emission data collection and management system, and encourage residents to adopt green consumption patterns. Having been nominated by the central government as a role model for sustainable and low carbon city development, Zhenjiang has set the goal to reach the status of a low-carbon city by 2020, ten years ahead of the national objective. As Mr. Zhu Xiaoyang emphasized: “We build our goals upon international cooperation in the areas of ecology, sustainability and education. Needless to say, Switzerland leads in these areas, with advanced concepts, technologies, products and solutions. It is our sincere expectation to exchange and cooperation with Switzerland. We anticipate the long-term partnership with ZHAW to support us in achieving our goal to become the leading low-carbon city in China”.

The city of Zhenjiang dedicated to establish an attractive, integrated industrial, business, and residential area in order to attract international companies with advanced technology and the professional talents. They firmly believe that the low carbon and economic development of a city can be achieved simultaneously. Due to its emphasis on applied sciences, its expertise and active role in the Swiss-Sino dialogue, its leading position in Corporate Responsibility research, and its parent universities strategic focus on societal transformation and energy, the International Management Institute is an ideal partner in this venture.