PARIS, July 1 (UPI) -- As China advances on a road to a low-carbon economy, French energy company Engie said it was working on renewable energy programs with Chinese investors.
Gerard Mestrallet, chairman of Engie, formerly GDF Suez, met in Paris with Chinese investors to sign a memorandum of understanding on co-investments in renewable energy projects and cooperation in energy efficiency strategies.
"[The] MOU is the consolidation of the two parties' cooperation in the past years, and it keeps pace with their new strategies," the French company said in a statement. "The MOU also illustrates their common vision on the transition to a low carbon economy at a global scale."
Beijing this week said it committed to cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by more than 60 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the steps from the world's largest carbon emitter were welcome steps toward the Paris climate conference in December.
"China's climate commitment sets it on a clear path to transition away from heavily polluting coal to cleaner and sustainable energy sources like wind and solar," Suh said.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli this week gave the ceremonial order to start construction on the Chinese side of a natural gas pipeline to Russia.
The China National Petroleum Corp. touted the Russian gas pipeline as a means to usher in a low-carbon economic era, helping to optimize the energy mix and improve air quality. By using natural gas instead of coal, the Chinese company said it would cut emissions by more than 165 million tons.