Pathfinder Dialogues

Case Studies

Regional engagement for Northern Ireland and China

Working with Queen’s University Belfast and the Consul General in Belfast, UKNCC’s Climate Change lead, Dr. Paul Jefferiss, co-chaired a roundtable with with experts from business and academia from UK and China on actions and technologies which can enable and realise a zero-carbon future.

UK-China Hydrogen Energy Cooperation Dialogue

Working with Manchester China Forum; Manchester City; Wuhan City and with the support of the Chinese Embassy in London and British Consul General in Wuhan, UKNCC is running a three year process (2022-25) to determine the technical and commercial viability of bilateral co-operation on hydrogen mega projects in cities.

Implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan

Working with Raffaello Pantucci, Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), UKNCC held a closed door round table and published a diverse range of perspectives on the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan including from the Chinese Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs, Yue Xiaoyong.

Understanding British attitudes towards China and the bilateral relationship

Working with members of the House of Lords, UKNCC held a closed door round table with a delegation of academics and students from Tsinghua University to explore the interconnection between the topic of human rights and popular perceptions of China.

In focus: The UK China Hydrogen Energy Cooperation Dialogue

“Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most difficult challenges the world faces. China’s influence on both is enormous. Our programme seeks to explore the potential for bilateral cooperation to address these challenges.”

Paul Jefferiss, UKNCC Climate & Sustainability Programme Lead

The UKNCC has forged a trailblazing path in utilising the principles of Track II diplomacy by spearheading the “UK-China Hydrogen Energy Cooperation Dialogue.” The initiative brings together various stakeholders to explore the potential for bilateral cooperation in hydrogen technologies in the pursuit of zero-carbon cities. The Dialogue is hosted by founding co-partners, Manchester China Forum and the Chinese Consul General in Manchester, with Manchester City, Wuhan City and commercial partners Carlton Power (a hydrogen production project in Trafford Park) as among the stakeholders. Carlton Power’s plans to construct a 15-20MW electrolyser by 2025 are currently underway.

This multi-stakeholder initiative is led by the UK-China Hydrogen Steering Committee, which meets fortnightly to identify green hydrogen investment opportunities in Greater Manchester. Each year, the progress and plans of the Dialogue are set out in a Forum hosted simultaneously by Manchester City and Wuhan City leadership.

Committee Members:

  1. Paul Jefferiss UKNCC (Chair)
  2. Gu Wenjing, UKNCC
  3. Elsa Katz, UKNCC
  4. David Percival, UKNCC / Deloitte
  5. Rhys Whalley, Executive Director, MCF
  6. Lisa Turner, David Houliston, MCC
  7. The Chinese Consul General in Manchester
  8. Yang Jiani (Claire) British Consul, Wuhan
  9. Amer Gaffar, Executive Director, Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre
  10. Eric Adams, CEO, Carlton Power
  11. Will Hawkes, Hydrogen Consultant
  12. David Hilton, MIDAS
  13. Tiffany Solender, Department of Business and Trade (DBT)
  14. Chris Hay, DBT, Wuhan

2022 Forum sponsors included:

Bank of China, Deloitte, Red Rock Power and HSBC.

In 2022, the UKNCC organized its inaugural UK-China Hydrogen Forum, marking the 50th anniversary of ambassadorial relations between the two nations. The Forum explored the feasibility of bilateral cooperation on hydrogen mega projects in cities, with a focus on Manchester and Wuhan. 

Throughout the year, the Committee strengthened dialogue between UK and Chinese stakeholders. At COP27’s China Pavilion, Dr. Jefferiss, further strengthened international support for China’s green, low-carbon economic transformation. He presented promising avenues for collaboration on green hydrogen, especially in Manchester.

In autumn 2023, the second Forum is planned to welcome a delegation from Wuhan following the resumption of international travel. The Forum will serve as a platform to inform stakeholders on the strides achieved, discuss policies to attract investment, and present future ideas for building a thriving hydrogen ecosystem in Manchester and Wuhan.