6 Jun 2017
Climate, energy and trade in EU–China relations: synergy or conflict?
Journal article by Ilaria Espa in China-EU Law Journal, pp. 1-24
ABSTRACT: This article aims at assessing the state of Sino–European energy relations in light of the common challenges they face in the areas of energy security and sustainability, while providing some insight on whether international trade rules are well-equipped to encourage and facilitate cooperation, on the one hand, and defuse potential conflicts, on the other, between China and the EU. Section 1 introduces the topic. Section 2 gives an account of the climate and energy profiles of both China and the EU with a view to highlighting their shared interests in the field and the potential for synergies in the areas of energy security and energy sustainability. Section 3 illustrates how energy cooperation between China and the EU has evolved over the years and identifies its main strengths and weaknesses. Section 4 discusses the role that international trade rules can play in fostering China–EU energy cooperation and provides a case study on the how World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on export restrictions could enhance energy security. This is followed by some conclusions on the potential of the WTO system to advance Sino–EU energy relations and, more generally, global energy governance.