Conference: German and Chinese environmental and energy law in comparison in Nanjing

February 24 Thursday


February 24 - 25, 2011




Dr. Ye Rongsi, Dr. Hartmut Weyer, Dr. Zhang Zitai, Dr. Yang Jiejun, Dr. Wu Weixing, Dr. Xiao Bin, Frank Groß, Dr. Wang Taigao, Dr. Qin Tianbao, Robert Dix, Dr. Torsten Körber, Dr. Fang Xiaomin, Dr. Peter-Tobias Stoll



From 24th to 25th of February the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the German-Chinese Institute of Legal Sciences organised a symposium with the title „German and Chinese environmental and energy law in comparison“ in Nanjing.

Also available in Deutsch

All countries are affected by climate change, global environmental damage and the scarcity of energy resources. They all bear the responsibility to make a contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against environmental pollution. International cooperation is indispensable to find solutions for these global problems. Therefore collaboration in the field of energy and environment is the core area of the cooperation between Germany and China. Considering this background the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Shanghai organized an international symposium for the academic exchange in the fields of energy and environmental law in Nanjing from 24th to 25th of February together with the German-Chinese Institute of Legal Sciences. The over 60 participants, consisting of German and Chinese professors, scientists and students, presented the legal regulations of both countries, that are supposed to help reducing the emission of greenhouse gases while securing a reliable energy supply for industry and population. They discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the current laws in both countries and tried to identify fields in which they could learn from the experiences of the other country.

Prof. Dr. Xiao Qiaogang from Zhengzhou University gave an overview over the development of energy law in the People’s Republic of China and illustrated the supervision of the energy sector. There are many different actors involved in the oversight of the energy sector and the development of a homogeneous regulation failed so far, because of the resistance of the state-owned energy companies, which are especially powerful in China. Prof. Dr. Zhang Zitai from Fudan University described the current situation in the field of laws on energy conservation. In his opinion, a basic structural change away from the focus on heavy industry is essential in order to enable a substantial reduction of the energy consumption in China. For him, the main problem for the implementation of the Energy Conservation Law is the lack of cooperation by the local governments and the lack of awareness of environmental protection among the population. During the discussion the participants pointed out that there is a conflict of interest in China between the necessity of higher energy prices to create an incentive for saving energy on the one hand and the provision of low-cost energy to the less prosperous segments of the population on the other hand.

Furthermore the question was debated, how the emission of greenhouse gases can be reduced in a more efficient way in the future. Because of the high share of coal-fired power stations in China Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could make an important contribution to the reduction of the emission of CO2. In his lecture Prof. Dr. Hartmut Weyer from the TU Clausthal illustrated the handling of this new technology by Germany so far as well as its legal regulation at the EU level. According to estimations 15 percent of the CO2 produced by the EU could be stored permanently in the ground through CCS by 2030.

Because the 12th Five Year Plan of the Chinese government stipulates the introduction of a nationwide emission trading system the prospect of its introduction was discussed at the conference. Prof. Dr. Wu Weixing from Nanjing University demonstrated the existing pilot projects for emission trading in China and the difficulties they are facing, in his presentation. Thereupon the conference participants discussed the advantages and disadvantages of such a system compared to financial incentives to reduce pollutant emissions and the conditions for the implementation of emission trading in China.

The second conference day was governed by the topics of the regulation of the energy industry as well as the transfer of technology. After a general introduction to the development of regulatory law by Prof. Dr. Torsten Köber from the University of Göttingen, Prof. Dr. Fang Xiaoming, deputy director of the German-Chinese Institute of Legal Sciences, explained the problems of the regulation in China. The Antitrust-Law isn’t applied comprehensively in the energy sector so far. That makes the creation of a real market in this area still quite difficult. But more competition would be preferable in order to secure an efficient supply. The public authorities should restrict themselves to the generation of incentives in the sense of “intelligent” regulation that contributes to an ecological change in the field of energy supply.

The role of technology transfer for combating climate change and its legal basis were discussed in the last part of the conference. The participants agreed that technology transfer is essential to fight climate change, but at the same time the protection of intellectual property rights is also very important, to ensure incentive for companies to invest in innovations.

During the conference an intensive exchange in a field of law, that is decisive for coping with Chinese and global challenges was made possible. Beyond the dialogue on legal issues, the political conditions for further reforms in the Chinese energy and environmental law have been worked out.

Reception by Dr. Peter Hefele
Openening Statement by Dr. Peter Hefele
Symposium Nanjing

Contact person

Dr. Peter Hefele

Head of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia and Pacific

Dr. Peter Hefele
Phone +852 28822245
Fax +852 28828515
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ Magyar