Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation
New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen
Chapter 3: China: every day is a winding road
China is the world’s largest CO2 emitter, due to an unparalleled economic development since the 1980s. GHG mitigation and energy policies are becoming more ambitious. The main low-carbon measures are reshuffling the economy and energy mix, as well as improving China’s energy and carbon intensities. The mitigation policies are mainly top-down driven: the central government supplies local governments with measures to execute. Beneath the central government level, ministries and local governments advocate for their own interests, in the context set up to emphasize energy saving and emissions reduction as national priorities. Researchers at select institutions and ENGOs display supportive demand for mitigation policies. Recently the public’s awareness of and online Weibo-expressed dissatisfaction with air pollution and PM2.5 has spurred a swift supply of air pollution mitigation policies. Most of these measures will also reduce GHG emissions; mitigation occurs as a co-benefit of air pollution mitigation. For the central government the challenge is to make economic development and environmental protection feasibly compatible.
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