Dr. Francesca Spigarelli is Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Law at University of Macerata. In University of Macerata’s administration, she has been Vice Rector for Entrepreneurship and Technological Transfer, the European Research policy, the European Charter and Code for Researchers and European Research Policy since 2013. Since this year Francesca also holds the position of the Director of the China Center. Her main research fields are multinational enterprises from emerging countries, Chinese economy and growth as well as internationalization strategies of enterprises.
Spigarelli is a member of the Steering Board of c.MET05, the National University Centre for Applied Economic Studies in Italy and she is a Member of the Executive Board of the Chinese Globalization Association.
Francesca Spigarelli 博士是马切拉塔大学法律系应用经济学教授。自 2013 年以来，她一直担任马切拉塔大学管理部门的副校长，负责创业和技术转让、欧洲研究政策、欧洲研究人员宪章和守则以及欧洲研究政策。自今年以来，Spigarelli 女士还担任中国中心主任一职。她的主要研究领域为新兴国家跨国企业、中国经济与增长、企业国际化战略。
Should you pick up a topic, among the several which characterize your impressive experience that you feel more closely related to the decarbonization mission, which one you could say?
I can pick the objectives achieved through the coordination of EU research programs POREEN which, amongst others, was focused on Partnering Opportunities between Europe and China in the Renewable Energies and Environmental industries.
Based on your academic and professional background, what is the main contribution you feel to provide to the worldwide urgency to reduce greenhouse gasses emission?
Based on my academic and professional background, the main contribution I can provide concerns the expertise on the policy-making guiding the green and environmental-friendly transition both in Europe and China. This was accumulated throughout my research activities and the coordination of various EU-funded Horizon 2020 research programs aimed at bringing together the two countries on scientific and academic relations.
According to your experience which one are the main challenges China has to face to reach its “dual carbon goal”?
Recently released data from the National Bureau of Statistics can indicate progress on the low-carbon transition. Once again there were big increases in renewables generation capacity, while products representative of the transition, such as electric vehicles, outshone construction materials like steel and concrete. However, the rapid growth in renewables does not tell the whole story. Coal remains the trickiest problem for the transition: in the year since committing to peak carbon by 2030, coal consumption reached a new high in China, nearing but not surpassing the peak figure from 2013. Coal production and sales data demonstrate the size and complexity of the task ahead. The strong performance by renewables in 2021 was a positive sign, but that if China’s peak carbon target is to be met, it will need to double the speed of growth in clean energy sources, or reduce the speed of growth in demand for power, or some combination of the two.
It is achievable, since such growth of coal consumption in 2021 saw higher demand for exports, which spurred manufacturing, and so increased demand for coal-fired power, an inevitable outcome of the rapid post-pandemic economic recovery and a normal fluctuation in the country’s transition. However, we expect to see coal consumption peak during the 14th FYP period – which means we may still see increases over these five years, but probably lower growth rates than we have seen in 2021. We could think of it as another peak, but it’s better to describe it as a continued plateau. Current economic and environmental policies make it impossible for coal consumption to remain high or grow. Once this plateau has passed, it should fall after 2025.
China and Europe have a long history of close and fruitful cooperation about climate change and environmental protection issues. Which are the more peculiar strengths of China and Europe in the path towards decarbonization?
There is every indication that cooperation between the West and the East started precisely thanks to Father Matteo Ricci’s mission to China. A cooperation that still lives and permeates today in the open dialogue between the two cultures. In modern times, cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation between Italy and China started at a very early stage of China’s opening up to the world, precisely in 1978 with an intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement on Science and Technology signed by the two countries. Throughout the years, changing dynamics in the international scenario have impacted on the evolution of such cooperation. However, the successful examples of scientific collaboration both in space and in particle physics, show the advantages of implementing a fruitful strategy when engaging with China. Italy has proven that it can play a fundamental role in favoring communication between the various international actors when it comes to STI cooperation, especially thanks to its ability to dialogue and collaborate with China. This could serve as a platform to implement also with regards to environmental protection issues and the path towards decarbonization.
More specifically, in your sector of competence, which mechanisms and actions could be implemented to create virtuous synergies between China and Europe to reach carbon neutrality?
As in the case of the collaboration in the space sector, Italy alone could not have faced the costs for the launch of the satellite without China’s significant contributions. It was therefore a great success of the bilateral cooperation in space and the realization of a scientific enterprise that benefits both countries and an example of win-win partnership with China. This approach should be taken for what concerns reaching carbon neutrality. It is advisable to establish a collaboration that involves a large community of researchers and has a common history, given for example by the fact that Italy has trained many Chinese researchers in the field of particle physics. A mechanism for managing the specific area of collaboration should also be established. Such a mechanism would be equally enforced by the representatives from each party, with the aim of safeguarding and promoting measures to secure carbon neutrality. Cooperation may result in a series of inefficient efforts if a long-term perspective is not taken into account, especially with a large country such as China where an approach of this kind has always been implemented thus far with regards to environmental protection. Finally, bilateral research should also enjoy consistent and continuous funding
Carbon neutrality is a target which required holistic approach and integrated actions by all the stakeholders. It should tackle not only technical matters, but also new economic development model and social aspects. China Europe Carbon Neutral initiative by its Scientific Committee & Expert Advisory Board aims to be a platform to gather these expertise then share potential solution. Which advices and proposal you feel to share for its development and operation?
A: 应大力鼓励所有利益攸关方之间进行系统协调。由于这是一个跨部门的问题，迫切需要采取跨学科的方法。只有合并不同的专业知识和背景，并不断分享各种反馈, 仲欧脱碳科技才能释放其潜在的解决方案，以指导机构决策和运营业务。
A systemic coordination between all stakeholders should be highly encouraged. Being it a cross-sectoral issue, a transdisciplinary approach is badly needed. Only by merging different expertise and background and by continuously sharing the various feedbacks the CNEUCN can unleash its potential solutions to guide both the institutional policy-making and the operational business.
The transition towards a carbon neutral world is a fundamental change, it involves not only transforming the energy sector but also radical reforms across the whole economy. In your opinion, how governments and markets should work together in addressing these challenges?
China is keenly aware that due to the profound changes both domestically and beyond, carbon neutrality concerns not only development but also survival. This is an extensive, profound, and systemic transformation of the economy and society. Innovation is badly needed to address issue of such kind. As a matter of facts, many scholars argue that when it comes to government-subsidized R&D and firm innovation, the magnified effects on technological innovation outputs become significantly stronger after the governance of subsidies becomes more decentralized. Governments grants can promote the innovation efficiency in high-tech industries and sub-industries with high R&D intensity. Moreover, it is necessary to optimize the relational structure between governments and markets. Governments’ support can truly establish an innovation system with enterprises as the mainstay, capitalize on the leading and supporting role of large enterprises, support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in becoming important sources of innovation, and strengthen international cooperation in innovation.
如想了解更多信息和更多详情，请联系 [email protected]
For more information and further details please write to: [email protected]
ChinaEurope Carbon Neutral Technology aims to support and substantially contribute to China’s path towards carbon neutrality in a holistic and inclusive way by gathering all the stakeholders and creating solutions for each challenge.
China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology will play an active and innovative role in providing services to conceive, shape, design and accomplish the transitions needed to achieve carbon neutrality.