Guide to Chinese Climate Policy 2019

Lead PI: David Sandalow

Unit Affiliation: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

September 2019 - Ongoing
Asia ; China
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: China’s leaders have declared that the impacts of climate change “pose a huge challenge to the survival and development of the human race” and that China is “one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.”1 The Chinese government has adopted short- and medium-term goals for limiting emissions of heat-trapping gases and a wide-ranging set of policies that contribute to meeting those goals. Those policies are shaped in part by other objectives, including promoting economic growth, cutting local air pollution and developing strategic industries.

This Guide examines Chinese climate change policies. It starts with a review of Chinese emissions. It then explores the impacts of climate change in China and provides a short history of the country’s climate policies. The bulk of the Guide discusses China’s principal climate policies, explaining the policy tools the Chinese government uses to address climate change and related topics. Appendices provide background on institutions that shape climate policy in China.

What are “climate policies”? Monetary and fiscal policies affect emissions and could therefore qualify, as could policies on many other topics. This Guide does not catalog all policies that could affect emissions or the climate, but instead focuses on policies most directly related to climate change, including those on energy, transportation, urbanization, forestry, climate adaptation and climate diplomacy.