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Chinese Energy and Environmental Politics

Peng Jingchao and Njord Wegge
'China’s bilateral diplomacy in the Arctic'
Polar Geography, Vol 38, No 3, 2015, pp. 233-249.
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This article investigates China’s bilateral diplomacy in the Arctic towards the USA, Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, and Iceland. In seeking to identify (1) the most important bilateral issues, (2) whether China’s diplomacy towards some of Arctic states has been more successful than others, and (3) the long-term goals of China’s Arctic diplomacy and presence, the article utilizes insights from theories of diplomacy in IR as well as the particular historical experiences of the PRC. It concludes with identifying how Beijing’s utmost concern when it comes to foreign policy still centers on promoting economic benefits and creating a global presence conducive to economic growth. Yet, while economic factors undoubtedly preoccupy Chinese decision-making in the Arctic, Chinese representatives currently speak less about economic development than about their environmental concerns. Chinese footprints in the Arctic have been adequately established primarily in the scientific research field, while commerce and multi-lateral governance are secondary. Further, it is also apparent that China has been developing contracts with the smaller Arctic powers of Denmark and Iceland (and earlier also attempted to do so with Norway) to facilitate collaborations in both Arctic research as well as economic development. With the bigger Arctic powers, such as the USA and Russia, China appears to prioritize other, more pressing bilateral issues than those pertaining solely to the Arctic.

Stensdal, Iselin
'China: Every Day is a Winding Road'
In G. Bang, A. Underdal and S. Andresen (eds), The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2015, pp. 49-70.
> More information about the book here

Since 2007 climate change has become a national-priority issue in China, and gradually climate-policies are becoming more comprehensive. However, there are serval considerations the central government needs to balance and prioritize in China’s future development. This chapter presents and discuss the parameters, drivers and relevant actors which influence the progress of climate-policies in China. China’s climate-policies are decided and driven by the top leadership. The policy-formation process is more opaque than in other countries. Bargaining for one’s preferences is common, both horizontally among ministries and vertically within the government. Academics in certain institutions are consulted; the major energy-companies have their communication-channels to the top and NGOs encourage climate-actions. The Chinese public’s awareness of the severe local air pollution in the recent years has created a demand to handle the situation, which the government isn’t ignoring. Mitigation is occurring as a co-benefit of the efforts to improve the air quality, and increasing shares of non-fossils also come from a concern for energy-security

Lunde, Leiv, Jian Yang and Iselin Stensdal (eds)
Asian Countries and the Arctic Future
Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, 292 p.
> More information about the book on the publisher's website
> News article about the book
> Information about the Chinese version of the book

Over the last few years Asian governments have taken a stronger approach to the Arctic, culminating with permanent-observer status to the Arctic Council for China, India, Japan, Singapore and South-Korea in May 2013. This groundbreaking book brings together the latest research in emerging Asian interests for the Arctic region, and the implications thereof this change has for the future.

This book covers Arctic shipping, fisheries and mineral extraction. It analyzes key Asian countries' policies, positions and activities. The book also demonstrates that there are common aspects which attract Asian countries to the Arctic, such as a concern for climate change, but there are also important national differences. From the Arctic Council to UNCLOS, Arctic governance mechanisms are thoroughly presented and analyzed.

Contributed by scholars from both Asia — China, India, Japan, Singapore and South-Korea — as well as Arctic countries — Norway and USA, this book is an essential source of reference for both academics and government professionals, as well for the readers keen on understanding the dynamic change in the Arctic region.

Stokke, Olav Schram
'Can Asian Involvement Strengthen Arctic Governance?'
In Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp. 51-60.
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What stakes do Asian states have in the Arctic and how will their rising involvement affect Arctic governance? In late 2012, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker to sail through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reached its destination in Japan, carrying gas from a Norwegian offshore field. That same year, a Korean-owned naval architecture and engineering company had won the contract for designing the long-awaited new icebreaker for Canada's coast guard, and China had completed its fifth Arctic marine survey from its own ice-capable research vessel. China, India, Japan, and South Korea have all established research stations in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The process that led up to these states also achieving permanent observer status on the Arctic Council in 2013 exposed worries among some regional actors over sovereignty issues, the visibility of indigenous concerns, and Arctic environmental protection.

Stensdal, Iselin
'Arctic Mining: Asian Interests and Opportunities'
In Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp. 155-167.
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Mining is today a global industry, in terms of locations, trade, and output value. In 2012 mining products, including iron and steel was the fifth largest valued merchandize traded, making up 7% of the world's trade. The unevenness of mineral endowments from country to country in combination of different mineral-consumption patterns and scarcity of minerals vital to modern life, makes mining and mineral-trade flows worth keeping an eye on. The three Asian countries China, Japan, and South Korea are among the world's largest economies, and also among the largest mineral consumers. More than 30 different minerals are extracted in the Arctic region, such as copper, gold, nickel, and zinc, which all are imported to the Asian countries in substantial amounts. Ostensibly there should be many areas with overlap between the two areas' supply and demand. As of 2014 however, the Arctic region makes up a minuscule part of the Asian countries' outward foreign direct investments (FDI) in mineral industries. Where does Asian demand overlap with Arctic production of minerals? Are there Asian interests for Arctic mining? Given the small share Arctic mineral extracting projects make-up of the Asian countries' FDIs, which factors may influence future opportunities? By minerals I refer to mineral raw materials, excluding oil and gas, restricting this survey to extraction and not further processing.

Stensdal, Iselin
'The Future of the Arctic and the Asian Countries: Concluding Remarks'
In Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp. 265-280.
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The Arctic is changing. A region which for decades was seen as a frozen, inert area of little interest to the outside world, is in reality a dynamic region, where Arctic governments seek to adapt to a larger geopolitical world map. The Arctic is where the great powers Russia and the United States come closest geographically. As Oran Yong mentions in his chapter, after the Cold War and final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Arctic became geopolitically peripheral. Nevertheless, the 1990s saw the start of several cooperative initiatives, from the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in 1990 to the Arctic Council in 1996. In more recent years, the Asian countries' governments and other Asian actors have grown increasingly interested in the Arctic region and its potential. It is endowed with many important natural resources which can be developed and acts a barometer of climatic change elsewhere: no wonder the region is an ever more frequent item on the international agenda.

Peng Jingchao and Njord Wegge
'China and the Law of the Sea: Implications for Arctic Governance'
The Polar Journal, Vol 4, No 2, 2014, pp. 287-305.
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Guided by insights from international relations theory, this article investigates China’s adherence to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), asking how Beijing’s attitude towards UNCLOS affects China’s role in Arctic governance and beyond. Examining contested Law of the Sea matters - the dispute over the "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, the right of innocent passage of warships and the role of international arbitration - it argues that China’s compliance with UNCLOS does matter for understanding how China is perceived as a member of the international community. Further, China’s growing interests and enhanced engagement in the Arctic depend on a strong international legal framework; Arctic governance encapsulates the norms of multilateralism and rule of law. The article concludes by asking whether Chinese experiences from observing and participating in the multilateral governance of the Arctic can serve as an example of successful multilateral cooperation and peaceful conflict solution, of relevance to China also in its nearby maritime regions.

Stensdal, Iselin
'Chinese Climate-Change Policy, 1988-2013: Moving On Up'
Asian Perspective, Vol 38, No 1, 2014, pp. 111-135.
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China's domestic climate-change policy has changed remarkably since 1988. In the late 1980s, the central government viewed climate change as a highly scientific, foreign affairs issue, and any policies were limited to scientific investigations. A mere decade later, climate change was seen as a developmental issue. By 2007 climate change had become a national priority. Since then, climate-change policies have expanded in measure and in scope. In this article I employ the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) to explain the policy changes. The ACF takes into account the overall sophistication of socioeconomic conditions in China as well as the climate-change advocacy coalition's communications and active use of their amassed knowledge to influence policy.

Moe, Idun
Setting the Agenda. Chinese NGOs: Scope for Action on Climate Change
FNI Report 5/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 56 p.
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The Chinese state and society are frequently engaged in an area of shared concern: the increasing threat of climate change. This report explores how a specific set of societal actors – environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) in China – interact with state actors in dealing with issues of climate change mitigation. Drawing on two case studies of Chinese ENGOs, China Civil Climate Action Network (C-CAN) and China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN), this report sheds light on how societal corporatist mechanisms and state corporatist mechanisms are evident in the ENGOs’ agendas. It asks to what extent Chinese ENGOs can set and pursue their own agendas, and to what extent it is the state or other factors that determines those agendas for them. Throughout the report examples of how state corporate mechanisms are still evident for social organisations’ expansion, legitimacy and credibility in China are given. It further shows that the growth of societal corporate mechanism that target combating climate change is gaining a stronger foothold and withhold the ENGOs’ political interaction possibilities, especially through the media, financial independence and international climate change negotiations. Furthermore, the report contributes to research on the autonomy for Chinese ENGOs and elucidates how they are balancing on the thin border between setting agendas that do not threaten the state’s authority and agendas that can echo and gain credibility within a less climate change concerned Chinese society.

Stensdal, Iselin
Asian Arctic Research 2005-2012: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
FNI Report 3/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 39 p.
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Interest in the Arctic has surged in recent years; as the ice has melted, so has interest risen. One dimension of this new attention to the Arctic is the emergence of non-Arctic states. Their research-oriented presence in the region is sometimes seen as a strategy for legitimizing their role as stakeholders there. While several European countries have been operating for decades without being littoral states, since India opened its research station in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard in 2008, attention towards Asian countries in the Arctic has increased. The Asian countries are sometimes met with suspicion, but such judgements are at best based on fuzzy and partial information. Hence came the idea for gathering statistical information on Asian Arctic Research. I here ask: How can the scientific Arctic research carried out by China, India, Japan and South Korea be described? What fields of research are in focus? How integrated are these countries into the larger international Arctic scientific community?

Bergsager, Henrik and Anna Korppoo
'China’s State-Owned Enterprises as Climate Policy Actors: The Power and Steel Sectors'
TemaNord, No 527. Copenhagen, Nordic Council of Ministers, 2013, 69 p.
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A significant share of the greenhouse gas emitting activities of China is operated by state owned enterprises (SOEs). This report, written by Fridtjof Nansen Institute for the Nordic Council of Ministers, discusses the role of SOEs on the electricity and steel sectors, for instance, in upgrading technologies, centralizing operations and developing alternative energy sources. Informal networks, guanxi and nomenklatura, and financial ties provide the state control over SOEs. This makes SOEs a preferable alternative to private companies. As policies limiting emission growth have been economically attractive to SOEs so far, they have shown little opposition but this may change should costly measures be introduced in the future. While China’s position in climate negotiations is determined by the political leadership, the SOEs deserve attention due to their impact on China’s emission trends.

Jareid, Marie
To get green is glorious? Kinesiske statseide bedrifters samfunnsansvarsarbeid for bærekraftig utvikling ('To get green is glorious? An empirical analysis of how and why state-owned companies in China take measures to combat climate change and environmental issues through Corporate Social Responsibility')
FNI Report 12/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 98 p. In Norwegian.
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This report is based on an empirical analysis that examines how state-owned companies in China are utilizing Corporate Social Responsibility to combat issues related to climate change and other environmental problems. The analysis was conducted at two levels in order to study the implementation of the different CSR measures: the first part examines different causes for the Chinese government’s increasing attention on environmental issues, and the implications for the state-owned companies. In the second part the focus of the empirical analysis is on how the government and other stakeholders forces companies to integrate CSR in their business strategy. The purpose of the analysis is better to understand what affects the degree of integration of CSR, and try to understand how serious the companies are in their CSR strategies: Is CSR primarily related to public relations and reputation management, or are the measures are done in an attempt to create green, sustainable solutions and combat climate change?

Bergsager, Henrik
China, Russia and Central Asia: The energy dilemma
FNI Report 16/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 20 p.
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How China will satisfy its rising energy demand will have impact on the availability and market price of energy resources such as oil and gas, but also on foreign policy. Of special interest is the role of rising neighboring countries and region – Russia and Central Asia countries – who can supply China by way of pipelines. In this paper important factors influencing Chinese energy decision-making are discussed, with a particular focus on energy investments abroad. The state capitalism framework is used to explain the long-term policies of Chinese energy investments as well as discuss the importance of State-Owned Enterprises and National Oil Companies to the Chinese economy. On this background the energy relations between Russia, China and other Central Asia states is discussed. The main focus is on the influence Chinese Energy Based Loan (EBL) agreements have on the Chinese presence both economically and politically in the region. The objective is to present the current situation and outlook for Sino-Russian-Central Asian energy relations as well as the economic implications a closer Chinese presence could have for the region. China’s EBLs with Central Asian countries illustrate the preferred Chinese approach in expanding trade relations and should be considered as important examples for future bilateral agreements.

Stensdal, Iselin
China’s Climate-Change Policy 1988-2011: From Zero to Hero?
FNI Report 9/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 25 p.
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This report describes the evolution of China’s domestic climate-change policy over the period 1988-2011, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to explore the policy change. Policy development has been gradual, with the most notable change occurring in 2007, when the National Climate Change Programme elevated climate change to a national policy issue. Within the climate-change policy subsystem there emerged an advocacy coalition - the Climate Change Advocacy Coalition - urging that climate change should be taken into consideration in relevant policies. The ACF points to socioeconomic development and the Climate Change Advocacy Coalition’s policy-oriented learning as explanations for the development of climate-change policy in China.

Stensdal, Iselin
China’s Carbon-Intensity Target: Climate Actors and Policy Developments
FNI Report 3/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 34 p.
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China has become the largest GHG emitting country, and announced in 2009 its first policy objective measured in carbon emissions. The carbon-intensity target is to reduce the carbon intensity by 40-45 % by 2020 compared to 200 levels. Since then there has been further policy developments in order to attain the reduction carbon intensity and steer China towards a low-carbon development. The 12th 5-year plan (2011-2015) is strong on incentives for reducing China's carbon intensity such as energy conservation measures and the establishment of new market-based mechanisms. While the central government forms the policies, the implementation is dependent on a range of actors. In addition to the climate change bureaucracy, the positive forces and actors on GHG mitigation is presented. All in all, there are promising developments in China for the years to come.

Fauchald, Ole Kristian and Haakon Vennemo
Environmental Impacts of a Free Trade Agreement between China and Norway
FNI Report 1/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 140 p.
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The report assesses the likely impacts of the FTA for environmental policies, regulations and the physical environment. The analysis covers the main parts of the FTA: Trade in goods, trade in services and investments, and is limited to those parts of the FTA that are assumed to have the greatest effects. The analysis is based on scenarios setting out possible results of the negotiations. These scenarios build on existing obligations in the WTO seen in conjunction with the public documents that the negotiations are based upon. The report contains the following core elements:
1. The details of a baseline scenario.
2. Two scenarios based on possible outcomes of the negotiations - a free trade scenario and a green trade scenario.
3. Screening and scoping in light of input from consultations with public authorities, non-governmental organizations and the team of Chinese researchers.
4. Five case studies that focus on effects of the FTA on trade and investment between Norway and China, and the resulting environmental consequences.
5. Five regulatory studies that focus on effects of the FTA for environmental rules and policy.

Wübbeke, Jost
The Power of Advice: Experts in Chinese Climate Change Politics
FNI Report 15/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 60 p.
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This study examines the role of experts in China’s climate change policy. With the beginning of the UNFCCC process, many semi-official institutes and universities emerged, dealing with the scientific, economic and political aspects of climate change. The major argument presented here is that experts are important actors in Chinese climate change politics, and that they have been underestimated in research on China. This analysis has two aims: first, applying a science–policy interface model from regime theory, it examines the political impact of various research organizations during different stages of the policy-making process. In the second step, analysis turns to the causes behind the degree of impact. These include the relevance of administrative links, the quality of knowledge, and personal ties. The results show that, in particular, semi-official institutes and certain universities can have a very high impact on political action.

Heggelund, Gørild, Steinar Andresen and Inga Fritzen Buan
'Chinese Climate Policy: Domestic Priorities, Foreign Policy and Emerging Implementation'
In Kathryn Harrison and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom (eds), Global Commons, Domestic Decisions. Cambridge (MA), USA / London, UK, MIT Press, 2010, pp. 239-261.
> For more information and orders, see the MIT Press website

China is facing major development challenges, not the least in the energy sector. Given these challenges, will it be able to reduce its emissions in the near future? We note both negative and positive trends. On the negative side, given continued high prices on oil and gas, coal is bound to be its main energy source for the foreseeable future. On the positive side, the greater focus on developing alternative energy sources may bring about emissions reductions in the longer term. The growing perception of increased vulnerability from climate change may point in the same direction. The decision-making process is still controlled by the powerful 'hard-liner' National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Still, there are emerging actors, scientists, NGOs as well as Ministries arguing for a more pro-active role. Internationally, China is very active in the IPCC, the CDM mechanism as well as in the climate negotiations. As long as there is so little willingness to deal with the issue in the US, no major change can be expected in China's international position soon. It will probably continue to reject an economy-wide target, but may be willing to consider other approaches.

Hald, May
Sustainable Urban Development and Chinese Eco-City: Concepts, Strategies, Policies and Assessments
FNI Report 5/2009. Lysaker, FNI, 2009, 84 p.
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The need for sustainable urban planning and development reached an important point in 2007, when half of the world’s population was defined as living in cities. This need is especially true for a country like China, where an unprecedented urban-rural migration has been taking place since 1978. Such a mass movement has posed many sustainability challenges for Chinese cities; for example, China is home to 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world. Now China’s leaders are attempting to use the country’s transition to a market economy and integration into the global economy to advance environmental and social issues, also on an urban level. One way the country is confronting urban growth and sustainability challenges is through an eco-city development approach. The eco-city concept is relatively new in China, and is being used in cities such as Tianjin and Dongtan near Shanghai. Whether eco-cities address the main problems associated with urban development and sustainability, however, rests on a broader, more fundamental planning approach that would streamline the goals and priorities of a large number of stakeholders, focus on existing city problems and look at small-scale eco- initiatives for answers, and thus remains in question.

Heggelund, Gørild M. and Inga Fritzen Buan
'China in the Asia-Pacific Partnership: Consequences for UN Climate Change Mitigation Efforts?'
International Environmental Agreements, Vol 9, No 3, 2009, pp. 301-317.
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This article discusses China’s motives for participation in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), and whether this has or will have consequences for its participation and efforts in the UN track of international climate governance. In order to discuss these issues, it also provides an outline of key national priorities and explains the nature of China’s involvement in both the UN track and the APP. It suggests that the APP is a complement to the UN process, not a competitor, in the case of China. APP participation represents a win-win situation in terms of the transfer of technology and know-how for solving challenges related to energy security and greenhouse gas emissions. For the Chinese leadership this seems preferable to taking on UN commitments which it fears would impede economic development. The APP’s projects also seem to complement the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism project in China. This article argues that there is little indication that China would make less of an effort under the UN track.

Heggelund, Gørild
'The Disappearance of Homes and Money: The Case of the Three Gorges Dam'
In Global Corruption Report 2008. Corruption in the Water Sector. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 99-101.

The Three Gorges Dam is to be completed by 2009; 1.4 million was displaced by the dam (2007). Embezzlement of resettlement funds has emerged as one of the main hindrances to resettling displaced people. This endemic corruption has caused numerous problems. Resettlement compensation has been reduced, the quality of life for displaced people has suffered and migrants have protested at the corruption and a lack of adequate compensation, leading to arrests of demonstrators. New control measures have nevertheless helped uncover instances of corruption and misappropriation, indicating that they are working but that corruption risks persist. Challenges to successful management remain, including a lack of transparency and participation. Displaced people must be included in post-resettlement capacity building, have more participation in benefit-sharing schemes and be assisted in re-establishing community networks.

Buan, Inga Fritzen
Helping People Build a Better World? Barriers to More Environmentally Friendly Energy Production in China: The Case of Shell
FNI Report 3/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 86 p.
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China’s rapid industrialization and economic expansion are causing massive environmental damage, with consequences beyond the country’s borders, especially due to the use of fossil fuels’ effect on climate change. Shell China can contribute to making energy production, if not clean and sustainable, then cleaner and more sustainable by making existing energy production more environmentally friendly; by diversifying and developing alternative energy sources; and by creating precedence influencing others to follow in its footsteps. The first goal of this report is to identify and analyze changes that have happened in the Shell Group since the 1990s when energy companies started their ‘greening’ processes. These changed happened due to stricter environmental legislation, increased civil society pressure and media scrutiny. Changes on the global and headquarters level in a company do not, however, necessitate similar developments in its national and local level operations. The second goal is thus to analyze to which degree the changes in the Shell Group have had relevance for Shell China and whether barriers in the Chinese context influence its prospects to operate in a more environmentally friendly way.

Buan, Inga Fritzen
Norwegian Actors in the Fields of Energy and Climate Change in China
FNI Report 1/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 34 p.
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Written for and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and StatoilHydro, this report is a descriptive inventory of Norwegian involvement and Sino-Norwegian cooperation in the fields of energy and climate change-related issues in China. Part 1 is a brief, general introduction to the relevant topics, providing both typical and atypical examples of Norwegian involvement and cooperation and partnerships between actors from the two countries. Many valuable cooperative relationships in science and business have been established. The report also comments on areas in which Norwegian involvement is falling behind the other Nordic countries. Parts 2, 3 and 4 consist of lists of the relevant Norwegian governmental bodies, research institutions and private businesses including descriptions of their partnerships, projects and expertise.

Heggelund, Gørild and Ellen Bruzelius Backer
'China and UN Environmental Policy: Institutional Growth, Learning and Implementation'
International Environmental Agreements, Vol 7, No 4, 2007, pp. 415-438.
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The focus of this article is on whether, and to what extent, the major UN bodies for environmental issues - the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD), and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) - have had any impact upon how China addresses and approaches its environmental issues. The UN bodies seem to have had some degree of day-to-day influence in a range of fields. UNEP has provided assistance in terms of policy formulation, technical assistance, training of personnel, public awareness and networking. The CSD seems to have made fewer practical and concrete contributions to China’s environmental policies; it serves as an arena for learning and discussion of environmental issues, rather than as a body for policy implementation. The GEF, on the other hand, has been an important source for the implementation of environmental policies in China. As to China’s contribution to environmental issues on the global arena, China does not seem to give priority to the international level of environmental policies. It is an active participant and stakeholder in international bodies such as UNEP and the CSD, but it is currently not providing any leadership. This is in clear contrast to domestic policy, where environmental issues are becoming increasingly important, attracting the attention of the media, policy-makers and the public. The article concludes that should this trend consolidate, establishing the management of the environment and natural resources as major issues in Chinese politics, it is reasonable to expect that China will in the future aim to play a leading role in environmental politics at the international level.

Heggelund, Gørild
'China's Climate Change Policy: Domestic and International Developments'
Asian Perspective, Vol 31, No 2, 2007, pp. 155-191.

This paper demonstrates that prospects for emission reduction are not realistic under the current policy environment and we argue in this paper that China is unlikely to take on commitments in the near future. We analyse the major determinants of China’s climate change policy, relating these to China’s stance in global climate change negotiations. The article discusses the main actors involved, and how their dominance influences China’s climate change policy. Energy is seen as the key to economic development and is one of the main causes for China’s unwillingness to take on emission reduction commitments. Vulnerability to climate change is an emerging issue in China, and could contribute to elevating the climate change issue on China’s domestic agenda in the future. Global climate change is still seen as a remote matter by the country’s policymakers, and remains a foreign policy issue. China is an active participant in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which has become a way to apply an international mechanism on domestic problems and one of the channels that China itself prefers to use in its climate change efforts.

Sugiyama, Taishi , Gørild Heggelund and Takahiro Ueno
'The Need for Energy Efficiency Cooperation'
In Sugiyama and Oshita (eds), Cooperative Climate. Energy Efficiency Across East Asia. Winnipeg, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2006, pp. 11-33.
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The chapter explains why more cooperation is needed on energy efficiency and conservation, and concludes that energy efficiency is key to achieving sustainable development in East Asia. The chapter also discusses China's current energy policy and political setting. There several signs that the leadership in China is feeling the urgency of the present energy situation and the need to slow down energy consumption. One policy goal in the 11th Five-year plan is to reduce the ratio of total energy use to GDP by 20 percent in 2010 compared to 2005. The increased focus on energy challenges in China has resulted in the establishment of new energy authorities. The chapter also examines CDM's potential for delivering energy efficiency, and concludes that it is not likely that the CDM will bring about major energy efficiency improvements in developing countries.

Ohshita, Stephanie, Steve Wiel and Gørild Heggelund
'Cooperation Structure: The Growing Role of Independent Cooperation Networks'
In Sugiyama and Oshita (eds), Cooperative Climate. Energy Efficiency Across East Asia. Winnipeg, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2006, pp. 39-62.
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In this chapter we identify existing energy efficiency cooperation activities in East Asia and examine the organizational structure of those activities. Cooperation described here is presented in four groups: bilateral cooperation; multilateral cooperation; regional cooperation; and independent international cooperation networks. Japan has been particularly active on a bilateral level, and experiences and lessons learned are examined. Multilateral cooperation in energy efficiency in East Asia has mainly been carried out through the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Lessons from GEF in China are examined as China is one of the main recipients of GEF funding. Regional cooperation focuses on activities ASEAN+3 energy cooperation and APEC Energy Working Group. The final part of the chapter examines the growing role of independent, international cooperation networks, and examples are taken from the efforts of Energy Foundation and CLASP (Collaborative Labelling and Standards Program).

Ohshita, Stephanie, Alan Meier, Steve Wiel and Gørild Heggelund
'Cooperation Targets: From Industry to Energy Services'
In Sugiyama and Oshita (eds), Cooperative Climate. Energy Efficiency Across East Asia. Winnipeg, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), 2006, pp. 79-94.
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This chapter examines cooperation activity sector by sector and note increasing activity in certain economic sectors with numerous, divese actors, most notably in appliances, transportation and buildings. There is a trend in the industrial sector from 'hard' technology cooperation (e.g., technology transfer) to 'soft' cooperation involving capacity building and policy tools such as voluntary agreements and energy management systems.To date, a great deal of energy-related development cooperation has focused on expanding energy supply, such as arge-scale infrastructure projects: power plants, dams, transmission and distribution lines. In contrast, energy efficiency and conservation efforts involve energy end-users as well as energy suppliers. Energy conservation cuts across several economic sectors and a more disperse set of organizations and individuals, from energy-intensive industries and appliance and automobile manufacturers, to retail stores, local agencies that issue building codes and permits, and individual consumers and motorists. To induce change among this disperse set of actors, an inherently different approach is needed—an approach that creates requirements and incentives for change—change in behavior, management, operation practices, and technology.

Heggelund, Gørild
'Resettlement Programmes and Environmental Capacity in the Three Gorges Dam Project'
Development & Change, Vol 37, No 1, 2006, pp. 179-199.
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This contribution looks at the Three Gorges dam project, and specifically at the resettlement programme, focusing on two major aspects. It examines the resettlement programme in relation to the environmental capacity in the reservoir area; and it assesses the existence of a risk consciousness and a reconstruction strategy, seen in terms of the ‘impoverishment risks and reconstruction’ (IRR) model. The author argues that issues related to the environment and natural resources are highly significant and have led to changes in the resettlement programme, including a change in policy towards moving rural people out of the reservoir area, as well as the issuing of new resettlement regulations. The IRR model is a useful tool to identify risks and can serve as a guide to the reconstruction of livelihoods for the resettled people. The limitations of using the model in the Three Gorges project concern specific Chinese environmental, social, economic and political conditions that influence efficient resettlement implementation. The Chinese authorities’ emphasis in resettlement has been on rebuilding relocatees’ livelihoods: it focuses less — if at all — on the social aspects and the social trauma of broken networks. The IRR model could therefore be useful in the context of focusing more on the social costs of resettlement.

Bjørkum, Ida
China in the International Politics of Climate Change: A Foreign Policy Analysis
FNI Report 12/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 82 p.
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China is expected to produce the world’s largest emissions of greenhouse gases within a few decades. China also holds a key position in the international climate change negotiations as one of the leading and most influential actors in the group of developing countries, and can thus be characterized as a key actor for the future success of the global efforts to combat climate change. This report looks into the developments in China’s political response to the threat of climate change from the late 1980s when the problem emerged on the international political agenda, until 2004. Three theoretically based explanatory models are employed to identify the factors that have influenced Chinese foreign policy-making on climate change in the past, and furthermore how these factors are likely to influence China’s future climate change policy. The three models emphasize respectively: national interests in terms of costs and benefits; domestic political bargaining; and learning through diffusion of knowledge and norms. Among the explanatory factors discussed, economic interests and the primacy of economic growth seem to be most prominent in guiding the direction of China’s climate change policy. Both when the state is assumed to act as a unitary actor, and when the political bargaining between different sub-national interests are considered, economic development appears to be more important than any other factors. As in most developing countries, short term costs tend to carry more weight in decision-making than uncertain future costs, even if the latter are potentially larger. The predictive part of the analysis outlines two different scenarios for China’s future climate policy. Given the expected increase in energy demand and the limited capacity to substitute coal with other sources of energy, it is not likely that China will accept binding emission reduction targets in the near future. However, increasing recognition and priority of local pollution problems and ambitious energy efficiency goals provide promising avenues for a further decrease in carbon intensity. China’s involvement in CDM projects can also provide much-needed technology and attract foreign investments in emission reduction activities.

Heggelund, Gørild, Steinar Andresen and Sun Ying
'Performance of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in China: Achievements and Challenges as seen by the Chinese'
International Environmental Agreements, No 5, 2005, pp. 323-348.

The paper discusses the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its achievements and challenges in China, the country obtaining most GEF support. This paper relies on Chinese perceptions, and less on views from the implementing agencies (IAs), the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP. Most attention is given to climate change and biodiversity. The paper asks what has been achieved; how effective has the GEF been? The study concludes that GEF funding has been important for China’s environmental problems. GEF and its IAs have contributed to raised awareness and technology development and have boosted institutional capacity through participation in project activities and training. Main emphasis has been placed on climate change projects and less on biodiversity.

Much has been achieved by the GEF in China, but challenges exist. At the international level, interests and roles of the GEF system, its IAs and recipient countries are not always compatible. GEF projects may suffer as a consequence. Another challenge relates to the seeming difference in effectiveness between World Bank projects and projects of the other IAs. Domestic challenges concern turf battles, problems related to information sharing, and different priorities among actors. The various government institutions’ reluctance to co-operate impacts significantly on the performance of GEF projects in China. The IAs should insist on smoother collaboration, and force the institutions to work together. Moreover, severe problems are apparent regarding financing as well as application procedures. Improvements are under way regarding the GEF application procedures. This will have a limited impact unless the Chinese side simplifies and improves procedures.

Heggelund, Gørild
'Running into Dead Ends: Challenges in Researching the Three Gorges Dam'
China Environment Series, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Vol 7, 2005, pp. 79-83.
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The article is a commentary on the challenges of carrying out research in the period 1999-2002 (Ph.D dissertation) on one of the most controversial construction projects to date in China, the Three Gorges (Sanxia) dam on the Yangtze River. The thesis goal was a discussion of the resettlement and environmental policymaking for the dam, and to relate this to general political and social trends in China. The article concludes that the resettlement issue was a particularly difficult topic to study, since the government perceived relocation work as the key to success for the project. The controversies surrounding the resettlement process created some limitations with regard to the angle of research, as authorities wished to avoid any criticism of the resettlement process. A study of the implementation process would have been difficult. Therefore, examples from the resettlement implementation process were applied to highlight the political process. The environmental policymaking linked to the dam, on the other hand, appeared to be less controversial research issue than the resettlement. The protection of the environment has been one of the top national policies for several decades in China. This trend has been positive for the Three Gorges environmental policymaking and led to increased funding for environmental clean-ups in the reservoir area. The article discusses the challenge of obtaining reliable information other than official material on this controversial dam project. The information was therefore supplemented with articles in academic journals and interviews. Confidence in findings is discussed in the commentary both in relation to interviews and the substantiation of the actual procedures for decision-making in China. The commentary also discusses the recommendations given in the dissertation. While it is important to acknowledge China's efforts in identifying resettlement practices, one key conclusion is that Chinese authorities need to find ways to raise the social aspect in relation to resettlement to a higher level, and to establish a law on the protection of people's rights and interests in reservoir-induced resettlement.

XIE Yan, WANG Sung and Peter Schei (eds)
China`s Protected Areas
Beijing, Tsinghua University Press, 2004, 604 p.

This is the first comprehensive overview and evaluation of the Protected Area situation in China. The book contains a set of articles regarding establishment and management of Protected Areas, and how they can be sustainably used for the benefit of local people The book also contains recommendations to the Chinese authorities on how to revise the legal basis for establishment and management of such areas, and on how to harmonize the work across the many sectors involved. The recommendations are based on the analysis and investigations by the Protected Area Task Force established under the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

Heggelund, Gørild
Environment and Resettlement Politics in China: The Three Gorges Project
Hampshire (UK), Ashgate, 2004, 296 p.
> For more information and orders, see Ashgate's website

This boook, based on the author's doctoral dissertation, discusses the resettlement and environmental policymaking in relation to the Three Gorges dam currently being constructed on the Yangtze River in China. The construction of the dam began in 1994 and will be completed in 2009.

The purpose of the study is to shed light on the decision-making process for the Three Gorges project resettlement as 1.1 - 1.2 million people will be resettled due to the dam. The point of departure for the study is the resettlement policy change that took place in May 1999. This decision involved moving one-third of the rural population away from the reservoir area to other provinces in China in order to reduce the pressure on the environment in the reservoir area. Originally the relocatees were to settle within the reservoir area.

The study discusses the following three explanatory factors for the policy change: i) Increased focus on environmental issues in general in China and in relation to this dam project; ii) Problems that have emerged in the resettlement process that made the policy change necessary such as limited farmland iii) Changes in Chinese society where information and knowledge have become increasingly important in the decision-making process. New Premier in 1998 has contributed to openness regarding the problems related to the dam project, which has been reflected in critical articles in the state media.

The study makes use of the fragmented authoritarianism theory and concludes that information from experts play a greater role in the Three Gorges resettlement policymaking process than what the theory indicates. Also, the Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction model (IRR) is employed in the resettlement discussion. The study concludes that despite the risk-consciousness of the Chinese authorities with regard to reconstruction people's livelihoods in resettlement projects, little emphasis is put on the social aspect of resettlement. Thus, the IRR model would be an important tool for Chinese authorities.

Lin Wei, Gørild Heggelund, Kristian Tangen and Li Jun Feng
Efficient Implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism in China
FNI Report 1/2004. Lysaker, FNI, 2004. 24 p.
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China at present ranks as the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) after the USA. Given its huge emissions of greenhouse gases and large potential for low-cost emission reductions, China is generally expected to become a major recipient of CDM funding. The current report has several purposes. First, the authors discuss how CDM is likely to be implemented in China, not least in terms of effectiveness measures. We go on to examine Chinese policies on and priorities for CDM as set forth in international negotiations and reflected in their CDM project system design. We survey recently deployed, internationally funded CDM projects and China's capacity for identifying, approving and carrying out CDM projects and describe China's first CDM project, the Inner Mongolia Huitengxile Wind Farm Development Project, a project that was approved by the Dutch CERUPT in 2003. The report reviews project experiences and developments thus far and finally, inasmuch as the report is a joint ERI/CREIA-FNI production, we look at developments in Norway's climate policy and CDM potential. To summarize the conclusion, the authors note that China's domestic CDM apparatus still awaits approval by the State Council, which may indicate waning Chinese interest for (or a wait-and-see attitude towards) CDM. At the same time, however, we expect that the several ongoing international projects with Chinese actors will gradually enhance CDM under-standing in China. While CDM capacity is strong centrally in China, there is little knowledge or awareness of it in industrial quarters. The international projects will therefore crucially help bring knowledge to local stakeholders. The Inner Mongolia Huitengxile Wind Farm Development Project is one such example. China as gained valuable experience through its participation in the Dutch CDM program, and CDM information has been disseminated to stakeholders in China, especially industrial actors. The report sets out several recommendations concerning future Chinese and Norwegian government action.

Heggelund, Gørild M.
The Significance of the UN Global Conferences on China’s Domestic Environmental Policy-making
FNI Report 11/2003. Lysaker, FNI, 2003, 23 p.

This study provides an analysis of the value of the UN global environmental conferences for one of the largest and most populous developing countries, namely China. The purpose of this study is to analyse the immediate and long-term effects of the UN global conferences on China’s domestic environmental policymaking as well as to discuss how such conferences are perceived in China. This study suggests that the conferences have been crucial for China’s environmental development from 1972 until 2002. Even though China’s domestic environmental problems have become a growing impetus for environmental actions by the Chinese leadership, in particular in the last decade, I argue that the international environmental conferences have hastened the process substantially. The study identifies the immediate effects from the environmental conferences for China, as well as achievements over a longer term. The following conclusions can be drawn from the four different conferences discussed in this study: The UNCHE 1972 conference was an agenda setter; UNCED in 1992 was a turning point; The Earth Summit+5 in 1997 must be regarded as a continuation and preparation. The long term effects for China from the WSSD in 2002 remain to be studied, however, the immediate effects were numerous, such as the learning effect from participation in the conference for buraucrats and NGOs, the Programme of Action, the policy document that emerged following the WSSD, etc.

Heggelund, Gørild
'The Three Gorges Dam: Taming the Waters of the Yangtze - Creating Social instability?'
NIAS nytt Asia Insights, No 2, 2003, pp. 12-14.

The Three Gorges project (Sanxia gongcheng) is currently being constructed on the Yangtze River in China. The article discusses past resettlement in China as well some challenges in the implementation process for the Three Gorges resettlement that may lead to social instability in the area.

It is generally acknowledged even by Chinese authorities that resettlement until the 1980s has been unsuccessful, due to the lack of comprehensive resettlement plans. The lack of success has been blamed on the fact that emphasis has traditionally been put on the construction of the project, rather than resettlement. Based upon the experiences from past reservoir resettlement, a new resettlement plan called 'development type resettlement' (kaifaxing yimin fangzhen) was gradually developed during the discussions for the Three Gorges project. China has made efforts in identifying resettlement practices where systematic measures are initiated for preventing impoverishment, which may not be matched in other developing countries. Despite this positive development, due to the large size of the dam and reservoir, the potential environmental impacts, the long controversy surrounding the project, the many interest groups, and the number of people to be resettled. the Three Gorges dam is a special project in China. The article asks: will the resettlement of 1.2 million (or more) people create social instability in the Three Gorges area?

Some of the challenges to successful implementation discussed in the article are: lack of environmental capacity, erosion and water pollution problems; lack of available farmland for the resettled peasants; growing corruption problem where funding that is ear-marked for resettlement and reconstruction is embezzled; lack of the resettlers' participation in the decision-making process; lack of legal protection and the need for laws on protection of the rights and interests of people displaced by water control projects.

Tangen, Kristian and Gørild Heggelund
'Will the Clean Development Mechanism be Effectively Implemented in China?'
Climate Policy, Vol 3, No 3, 2003, pp. 303-307.
Also published as FNI Report 8/2003 (Lysaker, FNI, 2003, 20 p.)

The purpose of this report is to discuss how the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will be implemented in China, and to what extent implementation will be effective. It discusses the Chinese policies and priorities for the CDM in the international negotiations in The Hague and Marrakech, and analyses the Chinese views on the Marrakech Accords. The on-going process of setting up a national system for identification, approval and implementation of CDM projects in China illustrates the changes in Chinese attitude towards the CDM after COP7. Also, the importance placed on China's participation in the CDM is further emphasised by the numerous CDM initiatives funded by bilateral and multilateral donors. Nevertheless, potential factors that may negatively influence efficient implementation of CDM projects are: the domestic implementation system is not yet finalised and may impact on China's ability to compete for CDM projects; the priorities of the Chinese authorities may not match the foreign investors'; the main expertise of CDM is found in a few ministries and research institutes in Beijing, and there is a need to increase the capacity for CDM among local project developers and authorities; most research carried out concerned technological transfer, and there is need to include economists and market experts to increase understanding of the market.

Buen, Jørund
Beyond Nuts and Bolts: How Organisational Factors Influence the Implementation of Environmental Technology Projects in China; The Case of China's Agenda 21 Project 6-8, "Prevention and Control of Oil Pollution at Sea", Yantai, Shandong Province.
FNI Report 4/2002. Lysaker, FNI, 2002, 177 p.
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This report examines how organisational framework conditions within the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) influence the implementation of environmental technology projects in the country. This is empirically documented and analysed through a case study of factors influencing the implementation status of a Sino-Norwegian technological co-operation project for prevention and control of oil spills, included in China's Agenda 21 (CA21). The report's general argument is the following: the more horizontally and vertically fragmented authority is among the governmental actors involved in the implementation of an environmental technology project in China (in this case, China's Agenda 21 Project 6-8, "Prevention and Control of Oil Pollution at Sea", Yantai, Shandong Province), the less likely it is that the implementation status of the case project will be positive. Furthermore, given that authority is fragmented horizontally and vertically: the weaker the agencies implementing the project are, compared to organisational opponents of the project, the less likely it is that the implementation status of the project will be positive.

Tangen, Kristian, Gørild Heggelund and Jørund Buen
'China's Climate Change Positions: At a Turning Point?'
Energy & Environment, Vol 12, Nos 2 & 3, 2001, pp. 237-252.

The purpose of this article is to discuss major concerns and perceptions underlying Chinese positions in the international climate negotiations. China has consistently refused to take on emission commitments, arguing that it has implemented extensive measures despite its position as a developing country with low per capita emissions. However, China's position towards the flexible mechanisms has developed from scepticism towards a more pragmatic focus on maximising benefits. Still, it perceives the costs of taking on commitments as large compared to the positive impacts of the CDM. We argue that taking on a commitment will not necessarily mean an economic burden for China as it might give competitive advantages. In light of the external and internal forces for change, we also question how long time it will be in China's interest to stick to its position of not taking on a commitment.
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