China’s Climate Policy: Governing at the Core of Globalization
Carbon and Climate Law Review
44 - 56 p.
The issues faced by the People's Republic of China (PRC) in formulating its climate policy do not come from a denial of the reality of climate change, nor form a reluctance to introduce new policies and regulations at the domestic level. They stem rather from general difficulties relating to the effective implementation of regulations in the Chinese political system, and primarily from the incompatibility of different objectives, in particular the achievement of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions with the technology available and the growth of the Chinese economy, both in intensity and in content. One of the interesting paradoxes of this situation concerns the centrality of China's growth model for the global economy, meaning that this country's domestic regulation has potentially far-reaching implications for the major economies worldwide. Without further significant changes in the structure of the political economy of developed countries, China will neither want, nor be able, to bring about any rapid change in its development path. To explain this situation, this paper reviews the drivers of policy developments addressing climate change in the PRC before describing the policy instruments selected by China in the formulation of its climate change policy. The paper also considers the position of the PRC in international climate change negotiations. Finally, it examines the implementation of these policies and assesses their capacity to effectuate a low carbon transition in China.