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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Tuesday 24 October, 2023 10:14 am |
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KAPSARC and Peking University Address Strategic Energy Partnerships in Beijing

On the sidelines of China’s Third Belt and Road High Level Forum for International Cooperation, Peking University's Institute of Energy and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) jointly hosted a workshop in Beijing. The workshop addressed the cooperation on energy and sustainability between China and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, building on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This included topics such as the energy transition, clean energy, critical minerals, and digitalization of energy systems. Experts and scholars from various institutions from China, Saudi Arabia, and internationally participated, focusing on strengthening strategic partnerships in sustainable energy between China and GCC countries.

 

The overarching theme of the workshop revolved around the establishment of strategic energy partnerships between China and GCC countries, a region that holds considerable importance in the BRI. This workshop occurred just before Beijing hosted its third major international support for the BRI, with world leaders convening on the 10th anniversary of China’s major international investment initiative. With Saudi Arabia and the UAE recently invited to be part of the BRICS group, the existing ties between GCC countries and China are set to grow even stronger. The workshop aimed to create an open platform to discuss innovations in cooperation on sustainable energy among multinational companies, Chinese enterprises, and governments.

 

One of the key takeaways from the workshop was the continued importance for the relationship between Saudi Arabia, GCC countries, and China to address climate challenges by working together to balance competing needs of the developing world and Global South. At this critical juncture of the global energy transition, a careful balance is needed between energy security, economic growth, and environmentally responsible development. Central to this challenge is the alignment between China's Belt and Road Initiative and the Saudi Vision 2030. Such alignment will open avenues to bring advanced renewable energy technologies, models, and experiences to GCC countries, allowing a wider population to harness the benefits of clean energy.

 

Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, delivered a warm welcome and emphasized the transformative direction of China-GCC energy cooperation. China is shifting its focus from traditional energy sources like oil, natural gas, and the chemical industry to a broader spectrum of energy alternatives, including sustainable use of fossil fuels, renewable energy, hydrogen energy, and nuclear energy. As GCC countries serve as a substantial source of oil and gas imports for China, close collaboration with the region present an opportunity for the development of clean technologies to continue using traditional energy sources. In light of current global geopolitical instability and trade uncertainties, it is imperative that both sides continue to strengthen their collaboration, especially in traditional energy sectors, clean energy, and international cooperation in energy governance.

 

Jin Zhijun, President of Peking University's Institute of Energy Research, highlighted the importance of aligning the BRI with Saudi Vision 2030. Calibrating these importance national initiatives will help drive the implementation of clean energy technologies in Saudi Arabia and GCC countries and promote low-carbon energy adoption.

 

Furthermore, the workshop explored the immense potential for collaboration in the petrochemical sector, a vital component of diversifying energy sources and enhancing economic resilience. The stable supply of high-quality fossil energy, and sustainable ways to extract value, forms the foundation for transitioning society toward low-carbon, sustainable development. Technological innovation and acceleration of the energy transition are essential for all nations.

 

The workshop exemplified a strong commitment to international cooperation in sustainable energy and marked a significant stride toward fostering sustainable energy practices between China and the GCC countries.

 

 

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