BEIJING, July 18 (UPI) -- China and the European Union are natural partners in terms of environmental protection and economic growth, an EU commissioner said Thursday in Beijing.
EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said during a visit to China a strong economic partnership would help address shared concerns about the environment.
"Green growth offers an opportunity to most sectors of the economy, from the building industry to the food sector, from transport to energy production and also for the services sector and tourism," he said in a statement. "The potential for new partnerships with Chinese companies is huge in all sectors."
European leaders are debating climate and energy goals for 2030. Existing policy calls for a 20 percent reduction in emissions and a 20 percent gain in renewable energy production by 2020, based in a 1990 baseline.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said during meetings last week in Washington it was time to "roll up our sleeves" and do more to address climate issues.
"Both the EU and China recognize that our future economic growth needs to be green," said Potocnik. "We share the same vision: Environmental protection and economic growth must go hand in hand."