CEPMLP Visiting Speaker Series, 18th October

Our third speaker in the CEPMLP Vising Speaker Series for Academic Year 2017-18 was Dr Duncan Freeman, EU-China Research Centre, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. He delivered an interesting presentation titled “Climate and Energy Policy after the Paris Agreement:  Does Politics Trump Economics?”

Dr Freeman, on the left, has researched extensively on China’s economy & politics and has spent a total of 17 years in Beijing and Hong Kong. He is fluent in Chinese. He has contributed to the field of research relating to EU-China relations, among others.

The theme of the presentation revolved around the climate, energy, economics and politics shaped in the interplay of the policy choices by the European Union (EU), China and United State of America (USA). He emphasized on the significance of Paris Agreement, 2015 in conceptualising Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) for addressing climate change. Further, these NDCs provides pathways for economic growth including the trade & technology flows for reducing environment footprints. There seems to an optimism in renewable with falling costs of onshore wind, utility level solar PV, unsubsidised energy costs from LED and storage batteries. The commitment for green growth in EU (as reflected in Agenda 2020), China (as reflected in the 13th five year plan 2016-2020) and, however small, but possibility of a more considered view emerging from USA after initial averseness toward Paris Agreement shows a broader global consensus on the issue. However, the recent “economic nationalism” in EU, China and USA and lack of economic order, may potentially be disruptive even if it fails to prevent beneficial economic outcomes.

Dr Freeman was hosted by Dr Janet Liao, CEPMLP. The series will continue with the next presentation on 25th October.