The State of Baden-Württemberg has maintained close relationships with the Province of Liaoning in the north-east of China (approximately 41 million inhabitants, capital Shenyang) since 1982, as well as with the Province of Jiangsu in the east of China (approximately 80 million inhabitants, capital Nanjing) since 1986.
In activities undertaken by mixed working groups, it soon became apparent that there are areas of potential cooperation on specific environmental issues. There is now, and has been for some time, a huge need in China for products and technologies, as well as corresponding services, which can help protecting the environment and climate as well as improving the energy efficiency. Baden-Württemberg has a very good reputation in China in this field thanks to the high-quality products and services it is able to offer.
Exchange of environmental experts
Training and symposia, and the bilateral exchange of environmental experts, were consequently part of the agenda from early on. Alongside these activities, cooperation has also taken the form of specific pilot projects. Most of these pilot projects were undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector in the Province of Liaoning. These projects included involvement in the installation of a reference sewage treatment plant in Fuxin which complies with Baden-Württemberg's own environmental standards, as well as supporting the construction of a model energy-saving housing development in Shenyang with expertise from Baden-Württemberg.
Following the successful completion of the lighthouse "energy-saving model housing development" project, which was designed and managed by the Fraunhofer Institute ISE on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, cooperation work on energy-saving building will be continued with the partner Provinces of Jiangsu and Liaoning. Plans have been drawn up for a new pilot project on the "energy-efficient auditing of buildings". Another key area of collaboration in the environment and energy sector is sustainable urban development, and in this context the reduction of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.
Cooperation between the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector and the Jiangsu Environment Office has subsequently been deepened with the signing of a memorandum of understanding at the last meeting of the joint working group.