On March 13, 2023, the British Embassy Beijing, the Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office, and the Manchester China Forum co-hosted a hybrid exchange session between Greater Manchester and Tianjin - the first in-person conference since the Covid-19 pandemic. The Greater Manchester - Tianjin Green & Low Carbon Session was designed to provide a deeper understanding of each side's unique national and local climate aspirations and opportunities to explore synergies for future collaboration.

The session was co-chaired by Tom Duke, His Majesty’s Deputy Business and Trade Commissioner to China and Hong Kong, and Zhao Jianling, Deputy Director of Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office. John Edwards, His Majesty’s Business and Trade Commissioner to China and Hong Kong, and Luan Jianzhang, Director General of Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office delivered opening speeches, respectively.

John Edwards highlighted the significant opportunities that exist to enhance collaboration between the two regions. Greater Manchester’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2038 makes it one of Europe’s most ambitious city-regions. With Tianjin at the forefront of reducing carbon emissions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (JingJinJi) cluster, this will present significant opportunities for policy, commercial and academic collaboration around decarbonizing heat supplies, improving transport infrastructure, retrofitting the built environment and developing innovative green financing solutions that will help accelerate these ambitions.

Representatives from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, Energy Innovation Agency, and Qbots Energy shared GM’s practices in the decarbonization of transport, energy efficiency and innovation. Senior representatives from Tianjin’s Municipal Development and Reform Commission, Binhai High-tech Area New Energy Industry Bureau and Tianjin’s Sin-Singaporean Eco-city provided unique insights from a Tianjin perspective. MIDAS and Tianjin Binhai also provided an overview of the latest developments vis-à-vis low-carbon industry development.

Tianjin has achieved considerable progress in its industrial structure transformation, energy structure optimization, resource conservation, green technology, and financial innovation. The city aspires to increase exchanges and collaboration with Greater Manchester across key low-carbon priorities. Luan Jianzhang, Director General of Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office, noted that this conference will play a significant role in realising stronger China-UK ties in tackling common global challenges such as climate change. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Manchester China Forum, British Embassy Beijing or Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office should they wish to explore being involved in future activities.