BELFAST, Britain, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Officials and experts from China and Northern Ireland on Tuesday expressed their desire to boost cooperation on new energy innovation, amid such challenges as climate change and biodiversity loss.
Green and low-carbon transformation is guiding countries as they upgrade their economic structures, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) Zheng Zeguang said at the China-UK/Northern Ireland Forum on New Energy Innovation.
The forum, which is being held at Queen's University Belfast on Tuesday and Wednesday, is significant for cooperation between China and Northern Ireland, he added.
Speaking of China's path to modernization, the ambassador said one of its major principles is harmony between mankind and nature. China, he added, is firmly committed to the targets it has announced, which are to achieve carbon peaking by the year 2030 and carbon neutrality by the year 2060.
"We are fully committed to the green and low-carbon transformation of our economy," Zheng said. "Our tradition is we mean what we say and we deliver on what we promised."
Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Alex Maskey said at the forum that in a globalized world, international cooperation is essential in order to address major challenges.
Global partnerships between businesses, academia and other institutions are often the driving force behind finding solutions and creating new opportunities, Maskey added. "There is always the potential to share experience and to learn from each other."
Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council Christina Black said that moving forward, the focus is on continuing to strengthen existing links with China, and creating pathways for new areas of cooperation such as investment and economic development.
Elaine Curran, head of exports at Invest Northern Ireland, told Xinhua that there is a huge opportunity for Northern Ireland and China to cooperate, particularly in green economy and new energy.
"Northern Ireland has begun to develop those opportunities and I think we can only grow that by cooperating together," Curran added.
During an interview with Xinhua, David Rooney, Dean of Internationalisation and Reputation at Queen's University Belfast, said it is "absolutely important" for China and the UK to work together collaboratively in order to be able to meet the challenges of sustainability, particularly in the areas of clean and new energy innovation.
Rooney told Xinhua that when he visited China just before the COVID-19 pandemic, he found things had changed dramatically over the past decades.
"What strikes me is that 20 years ago or just over 20 years ago when I first went to China, I was taking a bicycle to work, and then it was a car, and now it's an EV (electric vehicle)," Rooney said. "When China decides it wants to do something, it really does it." ■