Too big to fail: China pledges to set up landmark emissions trading scheme

Written by Alex Lo. Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a landmark commitment on climate change during his state visit to the United States. A Chinese cap-and-trade carbon pricing program is scheduled to begin in 2017, and will be the world’s largest carbon market. In a US-China joint climate statement issued yesterday, China pledged to …

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 …

The inevitable dilemma of China’s Arctic adventure

Written by Jingchao Peng. The number of seats in the Arctic Council expanded in 2013, when China and five other states (Japan, India, Singapore, South Korea and Italy) were granted permanent observer status to the institution. Yet, it was China’s participation that generated the majority of media and scholarly attention cast on Arctic Council’s latest enlargement. …

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 …

Running Dry: Water, Agriculture and Climate Change in China

Written by Christine E. Boyle. Conflicting reports on the state of China’s agricultural water use situation range from statements that China’s water shortages threaten the future food security of the nation, to optimistic reports that China’s potential gains for water use efficiency spell out great opportunity for reaching more sustainable water-use rates, and stabilizing grain …

Transnational Water Security in Asia: A Leadership Role for Rising Powers?

Written by Katherine Morton. Water security is one of the most intractable challenges confronting Asia’s future. It is widely recognised that climate change combined with other stress factors relating to population growth, urbanisation, and unsustainable development are leading to negative impacts on the availability and quality of the region’s water resources. Equally worrying are the lack …

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’s Role in the Transformation of the Global Climate Change Regime

Written by Yan Bo. China used to be a latecomer to international regimes, especially before the 1990’s. It is a different case for China and the global climate change regime. China has participated in global climate change governance from the very beginning and attended all the international negotiations leading to UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol as …