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Eamon Ryan touts 'green revolution' in China as he heads from Shanghai to Hong Kong

The Environment Minister is travelling to Hong Kong and Beijing this week for St Patrick’s Day.

Tadgh McNally reports from Hong Kong

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER EAMON Ryan is due to address the Irish community, business leaders and diplomats from Hong Kong and China as he continues his St Patrick’s Day trip across Asia.

The Green Party leader is among the 36 Ministers travelling around the world this week to mark St Patrick’s Day.

Both Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Micheál Martin are in the US this week for St Patrick’s Day. While Varadkar is due in Washington DC to meet with US President Joe Biden, Martin is in New York and will head to Boston later this week.

Ryan has already visited Shanghai as part of the trip, spending two days in the major financial hub meeting with businesses alongside the wider Irish community.

“[I'm] working with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Bord Bia today to meet companies that might come to Ireland and to learn from what’s happening here,” Ryan said, speaking in Shanghai earlier. 

“It’s one of the centres of the world of the green revolution that is taking place. China, we have a lot to learn from and we can also offer something: our expertise and our understanding of what it might be to go green.”

Tomorrow, Ryan is due to address a reception which will involve the local Irish community, business leaders and representatives from both the Hong Kong and Chinese Government’s.

It’s understood that both the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the European Union will be a key feature of the reception.

The overall visit to Asia is expected to tie into both his role as Environment and Transport Minister, with visits to both a high-speed railway terminal and a solar and wind farm planned.

On Wednesday, Ryan is due to speak at a market closing event at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as part of their Global Leadership Series. It’s expected that his address will be surrounding climate leadership in the West. 

Later on Wednesday, Ryan will visit the Happy Valley Racecourse and will present The Ireland Trophy at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Following his two days in Hong Kong, Ryan is due to travel to Beijing, where events are expected to focus on his climate brief, particularly on renewable energy and biodiversity.

It’s understood that Ryan will seek to discuss how Ireland and Europe can work with China to rapidly accelerate renewable energy capacity across the EU.

Additionally, he will look at further developing trade, energy and climate relationships with China to prevent Europe from being left behind in renewable energy development.

While in Beijing, Ryan is expected to make a keynote address at the Beijing-Dublin International College (BDIC).

BDIC was initially set up in 2013 as a joint university operation between UCD and Beijing University of Technology by then-Education Minister Ruairí Quinn.

Ryan is also expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese Minister for Ecology and Environment Huang Runqui.

It’s understood that Ryan intends to meet with key Chinese diplomats that are due to take part in the COP 28 climate conference, including Runqui.

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