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China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

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  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    () (East-West Center)

Abstract

China, from its own perspective can not 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. The country 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 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 low-carbon energy technologies and nuclear power and efforts to secure stable oil and gas supplies during this transition period. Based on these discussions, the paper provides some recommendations on issues related to energy conservation and pollution control, wind power, nuclear power, clean coal technologies, and overseas oil and gas supplies, and articulates a roadmap for China regarding its climate commitments to 2050.

Suggested Citation

  • ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "China in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy," Economics Study Area Working Papers 109, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp109
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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, 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2004. "The World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund and China," Working Papers 2004.138, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. 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.
    10. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "Copenhagen and Beyond: Reflections on China's Stance and Responses," Economics Study Area Working Papers 111, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian energy and environmental policy: Promoting growth while preserving the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3905-3924, October.
    14. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "Toward an effective implementation of clean development mechanism projects in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3691-3701, December.
    15. Gilbert,Christopher L. & Vines,David (ed.), 2006. "The World Bank," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521029018, Fall.
    16. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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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