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China in the transition to a low-carbon economy

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  • Zhang, ZhongXiang

Abstract

China, from its own perspective cannot afford to and, from an international perspective, is not allowed to continue on the conventional path of encouraging economic growth at the expense of the environment. Instead, China needs to transform its economy to effectively address concern about a range of environmental problems from burning fossil fuels and steeply rising oil import and international pressure on it to exhibit greater ambition in fighting global climate change. This paper first discusses China's own efforts towards energy saving and pollutants cutting, the widespread use of renewable energy and participation in clean development mechanism, and puts carbon reductions of China's unilateral actions into perspective. Given that that transition to a low carbon economy cannot take place overnight, the paper then discusses China's policies on promoting the use of clean coal technologies and nuclear power. Based on these discussions, the paper provides some recommendations on issues related to energy conservation and pollution control, wind power, nuclear power and clean coal technologies and articulates a roadmap for China regarding its climate commitments to 2050.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2010. "China in the transition to a low-carbon economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6638-6653, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:11:p:6638-6653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2000. "Estimating the size of the potential market for the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(3), pages 491-521, September.
    2. Zhang, Zhong-Xiang, 2007. "China is moving away the pattern of "develop first and then treat the pollution"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3547-3549, July.
    3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "Assessing China’s Energy Conservation and Carbon Intensity: How Will the Future Differ from the Past?," Working Papers 2010.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2012. "Climate Change Meets Trade in Promoting Green Growth: Potential Conflicts and Synergies," Chapters,in: Responding to Climate Change, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian energy and environmental policy: Promoting growth while preserving the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3905-3924, October.
    6. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "The U.S. proposed carbon tariffs, WTO scrutiny and China’s responses," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 203-225, August.
    7. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "Copenhagen and Beyond: Reflections on China’s Stance and Responses," Working Papers 2010.91, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2001. "An assessment of the EU proposal for ceilings on the use of Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 53-69, April.
    9. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "Toward an effective implementation of clean development mechanism projects in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3691-3701, December.
    10. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "Multilateral trade measures in a post-2012 climate change regime? What can be taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5105-5112, December.
    11. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1999. "Estimating the size of the potential market for all three flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol," MPRA Paper 13088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2004. "Meeting the Kyoto targets: the importance of developing country participation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-19, January.
    13. Zhang, Zhongxiang, 2000. "Decoupling China's Carbon Emissions Increase from Economic Growth: An Economic Analysis and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 739-752, April.
    14. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2004. "The World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund and China," Working Papers 2004.138, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2003. "Why did the energy intensity fall in China's industrial sector in the 1990s? The relative importance of structural change and intensity change," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 625-638, November.
    16. Gilbert,Christopher L. & Vines,David (ed.), 2006. "The World Bank," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521029018.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy saving Renewable energy Post-Copenhagen climate negotiations;

    JEL classification:

    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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