China is changing the game!

China is changing the game!

The team of the Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport Project of GIZ China recaps 2017 and provides an outlook of China’s activities in the transport sector in 2018. You will quickly understand that China is moving ahead with regard to sustainable mobility.

This article was originally published in the GIZ Sustainable Transport in China Newsletter, Issue No. 4, December 2017.

The year 2017 was marked by a series of global efforts to ensure sustainable and climate-friendly development, culminating in the COP23: From November 6th to 17th, delegates from 197 countries gathered in the city of Bonn to participate in the annual UNFCC Conference (COP23) to negotiate the implementation and rules of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change adopted two years before. The message of the COP was clear: “The fight against climate change is the central challenge for humanity, it is a question of fate", as pointed out by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

China took an active role during the COP23 and expressed the hope that the climate talks in Bonn would generate substantial results. China demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to implement the Paris Agreement and expressed the wish that developed countries would continue to execute their obligation to provide funds, technologies and capacity-building to developing countries. Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change affairs, stressed during the conference that "Development for all" and "Bridging cooperation" are indispensable principles for effective climate action.

In 2017, the Chinese government issued a whole set of policies, proving that taking action on climate change is a top priority for China. In the transport sector, for example, two examples of the effectiveness of these measures stick out: 1. New Energy Vehicle (NEV) sales in the January to November period in China totaled 609,000 vehicles, up 51.4 percent from the same period a year ago (in Germany, 36,849 NEV were sold between January and September 2017); 2. By the end of 2017, the Southern Chinese city of Shenzhen will be the first city in the world to electrify its entire bus fleet - 16,000 buses (by comparison, a total of four electric buses are currently in use in the city of Berlin).


Copyright: Daniel Bongard

For 2018, the Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport Project of GIZ China wants to highlight the following trends in China`s transport sector:

1. Climate protection oriented policies and regulations
The introduction of new policies and regulations to push for an even more ambitious low carbon development in the transport sector.

2. Infrastructure network expansion and consolidation
In 2017, China has spent 2.12 trillion yuan (USD 323 billion) in the first 11 months of the year on infrastructure investment. In 2018, China will invest a similar amount into the expansion and further qualification of China`s infrastructure development (road, rail, ports, inland waterways, airports, intermodal transport hubs and public urban transport systems). Infrastructure investment is expected to be among the biggest drivers of China’s economic growth in coming years. For example, China plans to expand its high-speed railway network from 19,000 km in 2015 to 30,000 km by 2020. 

Copyright: Carlos Prado

3. Wider application of technology and digitalisation
The innovation and application of new technologies in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) as well as system integration will enhance smart transportation and transport services, such as autonomous driving pilot projects or the advanced integration of mobile payment and booking solutions into mobility platforms.

4. New and stronger players in the transport sector
The emergence of new start-ups and the further consolidation of the current actor landscape in the automotive and transport industry and a further push of China`s tech giants and unicorns (e.g. Ali Baba, Tencent, Baidu, Didi Chuxing) into transport and extended mobility related service environments.

The Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport Project of GIZ China expects an exciting year and will keep you up to date on all transport related developments with their newsletter.

The next edition of their newsletter will be published after the Chinese New Year Festival that marks the beginning of the year of the dog, starting mid- February. This is the most challenging time for the Chinese partners in the MoT as this festive season in China makes millions of migrant workers, students and families travel across the country.


Sandra Retzer
Head of Sustainable Urbanisation, Transportation and Energy
GIZ China

Find out more about the project: Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport

Looka also at GIZ's other transport-related activities in China:
Sino-German cooperation on electro-mobility
Climate protection and electro-mobility


Title picture Copyright: Voni Jie Chen

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