Confucianism and Contemporary Environmental Politics

Written by Joel J. Kassiola. In the past ten years I have been studying China’s environmental crisis and how it might inform societal transformation to achieve an environmentally sustainable and just society. My overall point in these reflections is that China’s rich intellectual tradition of Confucian thought can provide a vital resource in an all-important transformational …

Is China’s environmental reporting changing?

Written by Ran Duan and Bruno Takahashi. Air pollution is a typical example of the environmental problems facing China, with most of the pollutants being a byproduct of industrial processes, burning coal, and automobile exhausts. In China, the health costs associated with air pollution are severe. Researchers have found that the so-called ‘ambient particulate matter pollution’ …

Clearing the Air: China’s Air Pollution Policy

Written by David G. Streets. At the beginning of 2015, China formally introduced an updated Environmental Protection Law, designed to strengthen the protection of the environment and to raise its standing relative to other economic and social priorities. This action came none too soon, for in 2013 and 2014 many parts of China were enveloped …

Chinese agriculture in the wake of the global food crisis

Written by Francesca Bray. In 2007-8 a food crisis rocked the world. A concatenation of climatic, economic and financial factors sent global food prices rocketing. Drought in Australia, then the world’s second largest wheat exporter after the USA, had cut the 2006 wheat harvest from 25 to 10 million tons. Bad weather reduced the 2007 …

What next for China after historic climate deal?

Written by Sam Geall. The joint US-China announcement on tackling climate change has been described as “historic”, a “turning point” and a “positive signal”. It has also been written off as insubstantive or even “hype”. The reality, perhaps unsurprisingly, lies somewhere in between. What it might represent, however, is a future that pairs economic growth with …

Can China hide behind the U.S. on climate change?

Written by Barry G. Rabe. China has long contended that it does not have to take decisive steps to address climate change, shifting responsibility to the United States. This reflects the fact that historic emissions from the United States have indeed led the world and the argument that there has been no significant American public …

China–EU energy cooperation in the era of climate change

Written by Ka-ho Yu. China’s transformation into the world’s largest energy consumer and biggest greenhouse gas emitter has already placed it on international energy policy and climate strategy agendas in terms of meeting global energy demands, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transiting to a low-carbon economy. This boosts the cooperation between China and the West, …

China: Local incentives drive action on global climate change

Written by Da Zhang, Valerie J. Karplus and Zhang Xiliang. As countries ponder post-2020 action to halt global climate change, China has emerged as a more determined and prepared contributor. Why? The need to address climate change is closely linked to urgent domestic priorities such as cleaning up the air and steering the economy toward …

Is China a leader or a laggard on Climate?

Written by David Holmes. As the world’s largest annual emitter of greenhouse gases, China is all too often held up as a pariah, thwarting international efforts to tackle climate change. Politicians in developed nations are often heard decrying any action on climate change at home  as inconsequential if China does not address its own emissions. But …

China takes the lead on emissions trading, but economic reform is needed

Written by Frank Jotzo. China has long had a string of regulatory policies that constrain its growing thirst for energy, and that aim to reign in coal consumption. But it looks like the country may be about to enter a new era, where market mechanisms are harnessed in pursuit of environmental and broader economic objectives. …