China's Energy Reform and Climate Policy: The Ideas Motivating Change
AbstractChina has embarked on an ambitious and unprecedented programme of energy reform and climate change mitigation. Yet the motivations for this important shift remain unclear. This paper surveys key central government documents and articles by China's leading energy academics to investigate the ideas influencing China's new energy and climate policies. Three key ideas in particular are supportive of greater climate mitigation than in the past. First, domestic energy security concerns have risen on the central government agenda as a result of electricity shortages and rapidly rising energy consumption. Such concerns have deeply influenced China's ambitious and largely successful energy efficiency policies. Second, growing awareness of the environmental constraints on economic growth in general, and the potential damages of dangerous climate change in particular, has prompted stronger official rhetoric in favour of green development. The appearance of targets and policies that specifically target carbon emissions reductions in the 12th FYP for the first time suggests that climate change mitigation is becoming a motivation for policy action in its own right, rather than simply a co-benefit of policies enacted for other purposes. Third, a conviction that the world is moving towards low-carbon energy forms has given rise to the belief that China must become a technological and economic leader in this transition. Large levels of public financing to support the development of China's wind power and solar PV sectors suggests that the Chinese government has strong vested interests in seeing China successfully compete and lead in global low-carbon energy markets. In order to understand the shift in China's approach to climate change since the 11th FYP, it is important to understand how new ideas such as these have reframed and reshaped the Chinese government's interests and objectives.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CCEP Working Papers with number 1205.
Date of creation: May 2012
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China; climate change; mitigation; energy policy; environment; renewable energy; energy efficiency; carbon market; pollution; reform;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
- P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-06-13 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-06-13 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2012-06-13 (Resource Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2012-06-13 (Transition Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- The motivations for Chinaâs new energy and climate policies
by Olivia Boyd in East Asia Forum on 2012-08-14 12:00:08
- CCEP Papers in June 2012
by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2012-07-02 07:08:00
- Zhang, Sufang & Andrews-Speed, Philip & Zhao, Xiaoli & He, Yongxiu, 2013. "Interactions between renewable energy policy and renewable energy industrial policy: A critical analysis of China's policy approach to renewable energies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 342-353.
- Frank Jotzo, 2013. "Emissions trading in China: Principles, design options and lessons from international practice," CCEP Working Papers 1303, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
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