China’s first college for the study of low-carbon technology has opened in a joint initiative with the University of Edinburgh, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Shanghai Lingang City.
It is believed the college will become a key centre for the exchange of ideas, talent, technology and resources to tackle global environmental challenges.
The college will build upon the achievements of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). ECCI is part of the University of Edinburgh and has helped over one thousand Scottish companies develop their businesses and build international links.
ECCI Deputy Director, Ed Craig, said of the initiative: “This ground-breaking project shows the opportunity for the University of Edinburgh and Scotland to make a real impact with our Chinese partners in cultivating talent, industry and technology to lead the transformation to a clean energy future.”
The China-UK Low Carbon College (LCC) currently offers two courses; a Masters in Energy and a Masters in Environment. Further courses are expected to be launched in the coming months including Carbon Finance, Smart Cities and Circular Economy. Six schools at the University of Edinburgh are already involved in the LCC: Business, Geoscience, Engineering, Informatics, Law and Chemistry.
Furthermore, from 2018, the University of Edinburgh is accepting Shanghai Jiao Tong students into five low carbon-focused Masters programmes in an effort to continue forging new research partnerships.
The LCC is located in the developing ‘smart city’ of Lingang, just south of Shanghai. What, at the turn of the century was little more than fields of farms and factories, now stands “Lingang New City,” at the brink of becoming a hub for high-tech research, development, and tourism. Construction on the $5.6 billion, 133 square kilometre city began in 2003, but ten years later the place was a virtual ghost town. However, by 2018, nearly all of China’s “ghost cities” have either been filled up or are on pace to meet their population goals.
Current Chinese aims are to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60 per cent to 65 per cent of the 2005 level by 2030.
Five years ago, China declared a “war against pollution”. Since then, new coal plants have been barred from opening and existing ones have been ordered to cut emissions. Major cities restrict the number of cars allowed on the roads. And according to The Guardian, residents in Beijing were left without heat this past winter after their coal boilers were removed.
Image: Bernd Thaller via Flickr