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Chinese Energy and
Peng Jingchao and Njord Wegge
'Chinas bilateral diplomacy in the Arctic'
Geography, Vol 38, No 3, 2015, pp. 233-249.
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This article investigates Chinas 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 Chinas diplomacy towards some of Arctic states has been more successful than others, and (3) the long-term goals of Chinas 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 Beijings 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.
'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 Chinas future
development. This chapter presents and discuss the parameters, drivers and
relevant actors which influence the progress of climate-policies in China.
Chinas climate-policies are decided and driven by the top leadership. The
policy-formation process is more opaque than in other countries. Bargaining for
ones 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 publics awareness of
the severe local air pollution in the recent years has created a demand to
handle the situation, which the government isnt 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
Lunde, Leiv, Jian Yang and Iselin Stensdal (eds)
Asian Countries and
the Arctic Future
Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, 292
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
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
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
'Arctic Mining: Asian Interests and Opportunities'
Leiv Lunde, Yang Jian and Iselin Stensdal (eds), Asian Countries and the
Arctic Future. Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2016, pp.
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.
'The Future of the Arctic and the Asian Countries: Concluding
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
the Law of the Sea: Implications for Arctic Governance'
Journal, Vol 4, No 2, 2014, pp. 287-305.
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Guided by insights from international relations theory, this
article investigates Chinas adherence to the UN Convention of the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS), asking how Beijings attitude towards UNCLOS affects
Chinas 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 Chinas compliance with UNCLOS does matter
for understanding how China is perceived as a member of the international
community. Further, Chinas 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.
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.
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 states authority and agendas that can echo and gain
credibility within a less climate change concerned Chinese society.
Asian Arctic Research
2005-2012: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
FNI Report 3/2013.
Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 39 p.
full-text version (PDF)
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
Enterprises as Climate Policy Actors: The Power and Steel
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 Chinas position in climate negotiations
is determined by the political leadership, the SOEs deserve attention due to
their impact on Chinas emission trends.
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
FNI Report 12/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 98 p. In
> Download full-text version
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 governments 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?
China, Russia and Central Asia: The energy
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. Chinas 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.
Climate-Change Policy 1988-2011: From Zero to Hero?
9/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 25 p.
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This report describes the evolution
of Chinas 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
Coalitions policy-oriented learning as explanations for the development
of climate-change policy in China.
Chinas Carbon-Intensity Target: Climate Actors and
FNI Report 3/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 34
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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
Environmental Impacts of a Free Trade Agreement between China
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.
Screening and scoping in light of input from consultations with public
authorities, non-governmental organizations and the team of Chinese
4. Five case studies that focus on effects of the FTA on trade
and investment between Norway and China, and the resulting environmental
5. Five regulatory studies that focus on effects of the FTA
for environmental rules and policy.
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 Chinas
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 sciencepolicy 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.
Steinar Andresen and Inga Fritzen
'Chinese Climate Policy: Domestic Priorities, Foreign Policy and
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
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.
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 worlds
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 Chinas leaders are attempting to use
the countrys 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
Heggelund, Gørild M. and Inga Fritzen
'China in the Asia-Pacific Partnership: Consequences for UN Climate
Change Mitigation Efforts?'
Agreements, Vol 9, No 3, 2009, pp. 301-317.
> Download full-text post-print version
(PDF) or purchase the original article
article discusses Chinas 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
Chinas 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
APPs projects also seem to complement the Kyoto Protocols 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
of Homes and Money: The Case of the Three Gorges Dam'
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
> Download fulltext version
Chinas rapid industrialization and economic expansion
are causing massive environmental damage, with consequences beyond the
countrys 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.
fulltext version (PDF)
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
'China and UN Environmental Policy: Institutional Growth, Learning
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 Chinas 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 Chinas 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.
Change Policy: Domestic and International Developments'
Perspective, Vol 31, No 2, 2007, pp. 155-191.
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
Chinas climate change policy, relating these to Chinas stance in
global climate change negotiations. The article discusses the main actors
involved, and how their dominance influences Chinas climate change
policy. Energy is seen as the key to economic development and is one of the
main causes for Chinas 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 Chinas domestic
agenda in the future. Global climate change is still seen as a remote matter by
the countrys 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
Taishi , Gørild Heggelund and Takahiro
'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.
Download entire book here
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
Structure: The Growing Role of Independent Cooperation Networks'
Sugiyama and Oshita (eds), Cooperative Climate. Energy Efficiency Across
East Asia. Winnipeg, International Institute for Sustainable Development
(IISD), 2006, pp. 39-62.
> Download entire
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
Ohshita, Stephanie, Alan Meier, Steve Wiel and
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.
Download entire book here
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 neededan approach that
creates requirements and incentives for changechange in behavior,
management, operation practices, and technology.
Programmes and Environmental Capacity in the Three Gorges Dam
Development & Change, Vol 37, No 1, 2006, pp.
> Download fulltext post-print
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
China in the
International Politics of Climate Change: A Foreign Policy
FNI Report 12/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 82 p.
> Download fulltext version
China is expected to produce the worlds 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 Chinas
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 Chinas
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 Chinas 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 Chinas 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. Chinas
involvement in CDM projects can also provide much-needed technology and attract
foreign investments in emission reduction activities.
Gørild, Steinar Andresen and Sun
'Performance of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in China:
Achievements and Challenges as seen by the Chinese'
Environmental Agreements, No 5, 2005, pp. 323-348.
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 Chinas
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.
'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.
full-text version from the website of the Woodrow Wilson International Center
for Scholars (PDF)
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)
Beijing, Tsinghua University Press, 2004, 604
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
Environment and Resettlement Politics in China: The Three Gorges
Hampshire (UK), Ashgate, 2004, 296 p.
For more information and orders, see Ashgate's website
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
Implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism in China
Report 1/2004. Lysaker, FNI, 2004. 24 p.
Download (poorly formatted) fulltext version (PDF)
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
The Significance of the UN Global Conferences on
Chinas Domestic Environmental Policy-making
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
Chinas 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 Chinas environmental development from 1972 until
2002. Even though Chinas 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.
'The Three Gorges
Dam: Taming the Waters of the Yangtze - Creating Social
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
Tangen, Kristian and Gørild Heggelund
'Will the Clean
Development Mechanism be Effectively Implemented in China?'
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.
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
FNI Report 4/2002. Lysaker, FNI, 2002, 177 p.
> Download full-text version
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
'China's Climate Change Positions: At a Turning
Energy & Environment, Vol 12, Nos 2 & 3, 2001,
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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