CNEUCN Interview series | Episode 3: Professor Spigarelli – Scientific Committee Member

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。

Spigarelli 女士是意大利国立大学应用经济研究中心c.MET05指导委员会成员,也是中国全球化协会执行委员会成员。

Q: 请您根据个人经历,选择一个减排目标密切相关的话题,您会选择哪个?

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?

A: 我可以选择通过协调欧盟研究项目POREEN实现的目标,该项目主要关注欧洲和中国在可再生能源和环境行业的合作机会。

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.

Q:  基于您的学术和专业背景,您认为对全球减少温室气体排放的紧迫性有哪些主要贡献?

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? 

A: 基于我的学术和专业背景,我能提供的主要贡献涉及指导欧洲和中国绿色环保转型的决策专业知识。这是在我的研究活动和协调各种欧盟资助的地平线2020研究项目过程中积累起来的,这些项目旨在将两国的科学和学术关系结合起来。

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.

Q: 基于您的经历,您认为中国要实现双碳目标,主要挑战有哪些?

According to your experience which one are the main challenges China has to face to reach its “dual carbon goal”? 

A: 国家统计局最近发布的数据可以表明低碳转型的进展。可再生能源发电能力再次大幅增长,而代表转型的产品,如电动汽车,比钢铁和混凝土等建筑材料更为突出。然而,可再生能源的快速增长并不能说明一切。煤炭仍然是转型中最棘手的问题:自承诺到2030年达到碳峰值以来的一年,中国的煤炭消费量达到了新高,接近但没有超过2013年的峰值。煤炭生产和销售数据表明了未来任务的规模和复杂性。可再生能源在2021的强劲表现是一个积极的迹象,但如果要实现中国的峰值碳目标,就需要将清洁能源的增长速度提高一倍,或降低电力需求的增长速度,或将两者结合起来。


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.

Q: 中欧在气候变化和环境保护方面密切合作,历史悠久,成果丰富。在碳减排方面,中欧分别有哪些优势?

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? 

A: 种种迹象表明,正是利玛窦神父的中国之行开启了东西方的合作。这种合作至今仍在两种文化之间的公开对话中存在并渗透。近代以来,中意在科学、技术和创新方面的合作始于中国对外开放的早期阶段,也就是1978年,两国签署了政府间科技合作协议。多年来,国际形势的变化对这种合作的演变产生了影响。然而,在空间和粒子物理领域的科学合作的成功例子显示了在与中国接触时实施富有成效的战略的优势。意大利已经证明,在科技创新合作方面,它可以在促进各国际行为体之间的沟通方面发挥根本性作用,特别是由于它能够与中国对话和合作。这可以作为一个平台,在环境保护问题和脱碳道路方面也可以实施。

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. 

Q:  具体而言,您认为应该采取哪些机制和措施,推动中欧在碳中和合作上形成良性互动?

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?

A: 与太空领域合作的情况一样,如果没有中国的重大贡献,意大利不可能独自承担发射卫星的成本。因此,这是双边太空领域合作的巨大成功,实现了对两国都有利的科学事业,是与中国建立双赢伙伴关系的典范。为了实现碳中和,应采取这种方法。建议建立一个由大量研究人员组成的、有着共同历史的合作关系,例如意大利在粒子物理领域培训了许多中国研究人员。还应建立管理具体合作领域的机制。这种机制将由各缔约方的代表平等执行,目的是保障和促进确保碳中和的措施。如果不考虑长期的观点,合作可能会导致一系列低效的努力,特别是与中国这样的大国,迄今为止,在环境保护方面一直采取这种做法。最后,双边研究也应获得持续一致的资助。

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

Q: 实现碳中和需要各方协同,综合施策。不仅解决技术问题,还要应对新的经济发展模式和一些社会问题。仲欧脱碳科技倡议基于科学委员会和专家咨询委员会,旨在搭建相关知识和解决方案的共享平台。在中欧碳中和合作发展方面,您有何建议或倡议,能分享下吗?

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.

Q: 向碳中和的世界的过渡是一个根本性的变化,它不仅涉及能源部门的转型,而且涉及整个经济的根本改革。在您看来,政府和市场应该如何共同应对这些挑战?

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?

A:  中国深知,由于国内外的深刻变化,碳中和不仅关系到发展,也关系到生存。这是一场广泛、深刻、系统的经济和社会变革。解决这类问题急需创新。事实上,许多学者认为,在政府补贴研发和企业创新方面,补贴治理变得更加分散后,对技术创新产出的放大效应显著增强。政府补助可以提高高技术产业和高研发强度子产业的创新效率。此外,有必要优化政府与市场之间的关系结构。政府的支持可以真正建立起以企业为主体的创新体系,发挥大企业的主导和支撑作用,支持中小企业成为重要的创新源泉,加强国际创新合作。

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.