On 29 and 30 September 2021, the Wuppertal Institute together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as well as the Taiyuan Leadership Group for National SDG Innovation Pilots hosted the training workshop "Achieving climate neutrality: Transition of coal regions and energy-intensive industries in Germany and Europe". The training aimed to strengthen the institutional capacities for sustainability transformations of stakeholders from Taiyuan. The city is the capital of Shanxi province, China’s largest coal-mining province.
The event started with opening speeches by the representatives from the ADB and the local government of Taiyuan. Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick, Scientific Managing Director of the Wuppertal Institute, welcomed the audience and presented Germany's climate neutrality strategy. During the first day of training, experts from the Wuppertal Institute shared knowledge about the coal region transition in Germany as well as in other EU countries and the transition strategies toolkit developed for the EU member states. Experts from the Siemens Energy and VGB PowerTech shared their experience of repurposing coal-fired power plants from the practitioners' perspective. In addition, Wuppertal Institute's experts presented strategies for the climate-neutral transformation of energy-intensive industry sectors, with examples of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Port of Rotterdam. The second day of the training focused specifically on regional and local sustainability transformations. The scientists presented case studies for the development of sustainable and particularly climate-friendly regions and cities, e.g. InnovationCity Ruhr, LowExHerten, and Zero Waste München. They highlighted the strategies for sustainable development and also the specific governance arrangements and actor alliances for steering these processes.
In total, about 100 participants from governmental departments, business, and research institutes in Taiyuan attended the training. The training was well received: participants realised that the Ruhr region and other coal regions of Europe have some similar challenges as Shanxi province. They were thus excited to hear about the transformation experience in Germany and Europe, including possible pathways and technological as well as governance innovations.
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