China's evolving green planning system: Are targets the answer?
AbstractChina's national leaders have recently set ambitious goals to restructure and diversify the economy towards a more resource-efficient and sustainable growth path. To address the growing national environment and energy concerns, leaders introduced several binding environmental targets for government departments and large enterprises. The heavy reliance on a target-based implementation approach raises questions about the effectiveness of this strategy in the short and long run for environmental governance in China. Based on fieldwork in Jiangsu, Hunan, and Shandong provinces in 2012, this paper studies the desirable and undesirable outcomes of binding environmental targets in China's evolving green planning system. This paper argues that environmental targets have a signaling function that has resulted in ecological issues movement onto local governments' core policy agendas. However, in the nascent green planning system, classic planning problems have generated undesirable consequences such that that environmental targets are not always achieving their intended goals. Strategic and cyclical behavior by local government officials in leadership positions often lead to short-term maximization actions instead of long-term innovative environmental management. This analysis of local leaders' responses to top-down targets aims to generate a more realistic picture of what binding environmental targets can and cannot achieve. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 201.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
environmental policy implementation; regulation; command and control instruments; targets; China; authoritarian environmentalism;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
- Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
- P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
- O21 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
- R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-08-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2013-08-31 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2013-08-31 (Resource Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2013-08-31 (Transition Economics)
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