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Chinese Energy and Environmental Politics

ChinaFNI research on China focuses on the country's environmental, climate change and energy problems and policies, as well as its interests in the Arctic.

China's rapid economic growth in the past two decades has greatly raised the living standards of the Chinese population. However, rapid economic growth is creating environmental problems at national, regional and global levels. China's increasing greenhouse gas emissions is one example.

At the same time, China's emerging political and economic strength makes it a key partner in solving global environmental problems, and China is increasingly showing leadership in international discussions.

FNI research on China analyses the country's environmental, climate change and energy problems and policy, attempts to understand how environment-related bureaucracy and decision-making works, and analyses the role China will play in international cooperation on climate change and other environmental and energy issues.

More recently, FNI is also engaged in analysis of China's Arctic policies.

Selected ongoing projects:
 The AsiArctic Programme.
 Capacity to Govern Climate Mitigation in China and Russia.
 Designing Effective Emissions Trading: The Contribution of International Diffusion (ETS-DIFFUSION).
 Strategic Challenges in International Climate and Energy Policy (CICEP).

Important past projects:
 Conditions for Change in International Climate Policy: The Role of China, the EU and the US (2009-2013).
 Environmental Impact Assessment of a Norwegian-Chinese Free Trade Agreement (2010-2011).
 China's Climate Change Policy (2009).
 Key Actors and the Climate Regime: Lessons and Future Options. Domestic and International Developments in China’s Climate Change Policymaking (2004-2009).
 The Role of the UN in Global Environmental Governance: Potential for Increased Effectiveness? Performance of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in China (2002-2009).
 Building Capacity for the Clean Development Mechanism in China: CDM Policy Building Support (2004-2006).
 Blueprint for East Asian Energy Efficiency Cooperation (2005-2006).

Steinar Andresen (Research Professor) contact person
Ole Kristian Fauchald (Research Professor)
Gørild Heggelund (Senior Research Fellow)
Iselin Stensdal (Research Fellow)

Selected FNI publications, Chinese energy and environmental politics:

Articles and reports

Gjeset, Emil, Between Fragmentation and Harmony. The Political Economy of Shale Gas in China. FNI Report 15/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 53 p.

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.

Wegge, Njord, 'China in the Arctic. Interests, Actions and Challenges', Nordlit, No 32, 2014, pp. 83-98.

Stensdal, Iselin, 'Chinese Climate-Change Policy, 1988-2013: Moving On Up'. Asian Perspective, Vol 38, No 1, 2014, pp. 111-135.

Moe, Idun, Setting the Agenda. Chinese NGOs: Scope for Action on Climate Change. FNI Report 5/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 56 p.

Stensdal, Iselin, Asian Arctic Research 2005-2012: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. FNI Report 3/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 39 p.

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.

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.

Bergsager, Henrik, China, Russia and Central Asia: The energy dilemma. FNI Report 16/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 20 p.

Stensdal, Iselin, China’s Climate-Change Policy 1988-2011: From Zero to Hero? FNI Report 9/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 25 p.

Stensdal, Iselin, China’s Carbon-Intensity Target: Climate Actors and Policy Developments. FNI Report 3/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 34 p.

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.

Wübbeke, Jost, The Power of Advice: Experts in Chinese Climate Change Politics. FNI Report 15/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 60 p.

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.

Commentary articles

Stensdal, Iselin, 'China and the Arctic: Where’s the Great Power Competition?', China Policy Institute Blog, 13.03.2015.

Stensdal, Iselin, 'Kinas nye revolusjon' ('China's New Revolution'), Dagens Næringsliv, 20.01.2015. In Norwegian.

Moe, Arild, 'L’Arctique est sur l’agenda de la Chine, mais parmi de nombreux autres sujets' ('The Arctic is on China's Agenda, but One Amongst Many'), l'Humanité, 28.11.2014. In French.

Lunde, Leiv, 'The Nordic Embrace: Why the Nordic Countries Welcome Asia to the Arctic Table', Asia Policy, July 2014.

Lunde, Leiv, 'Klok utenrikspolitikk' ('Norwegian Government's Decision Not to Meet the Dalai Lama is Wise Foreign Policy'), Dagens Næringsliv, 11.05.2014. In Norwegian.

Stensdal, Iselin, 'Kan Kinas «krig mot forurensning» lykkes?' ('Can China's 'war on pollution' succeed?'), Energi og Klima, 14.03.2014. In Norwegian.

Lunde, Leiv, 'Potential for co-operation over Arctic', Financial Times, 20.12.2013.

Stensdal, Iselin, 'Kinas to ansikter' ('China's Two Faces'), Dagens Næringsliv, 25.11.2013. In Norwegian.

Stensdal, Iselin, 'Stø kurs i Kina' ('Steady Course in China'), Klima, No 3, 27.05.2013. In Norwegian.

See summaries page for more/older research publications
FNI's focal points of research:

 Global environmental governance and law
 Climate change
 Law of the Sea and marine affairs
 Biodiversity and genetic resources
 Arctic and Russian politics
 European energy and environment
 Chinese energy and environment

Recent relevant FNI News:

FNI Conference in Shanghai: Asian Countries and the Arctic Future (23.05.2014)

The China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC) Officially Launched (09.01.2014)

China Seeks FNI Advice on Energy Governance in the Arctic and in Developing Countries (14.01.2013)

Recent media coverage:

'Kina trånar efter norsk polarolja' ('China Yearns for Norwegian Polar Oil'),, 14.11.2014. In Swedish.

'China's carbon plans: secrecy and oversupply darken outlook', Reuters, 18.08.2014.

'Nansen uten idealisme?' ('Nansen with no Idealism?'), Dagens Næringsliv, 20.05.2014. In Norwegian.

'Chinese could thaw over the Arctic', Aftenbladet, 22.01.2014.

'KN: Statoil må gjøre mer for folket' ('Norwegian Church Aid: Statoil Must Do More for the People'), Bistandsaktuelt, 13.05.2013. In Norwegian.

'China’s observer bid on agenda for upcoming Arctic summit', gb times, 08.05.2013.

'China seeks observer status with the Arctic Council', BarentsObserver, 07.05.2013.

'China pours cash into melting Arctic in bid to win influence', The Guardian, 18.03.2013.

'Àolafu·Shilamu·Situokè: Beijí anquán zhìli yu quánqiú hézuò' ('Olav Schram Stokke: Arctic security governance and global cooperation'),, 13.03.2013. In Chinese.

'Forsker på asiatisk interesse for Arktis' ('Research on Asian Interest in the Arctic'), RCN News, 13.02.2013. In Norwegian.

'El mundo se derrite por el Ártico' ('The World is Melting in the Arctic'), El Colombiano, 03.02.2013. In Spanish.

'Kitajska pogleduje za naravnimi viri na Arktiki' ('China Looks at the Natural Resources of the Arctic'), Planet Siol, 29.01.2013. In Slovenian.

'Kitajska pogleduje za naravnimi viri na Arktiki' ('The Chinese Seem Eager for Arctic Resources'), Karstas Kommentaras, 29.01.2013. In Lithuanian.

'Arctic Council has tightrope to walk in potential decision to admit China', Alaska Dispatch, 28.01.2013.

'Guójì shèhuì duì zhongguó tànsuo beijí jingtì youdian guòdù' ('German Media: The International Community's Alertness towards China's Arctic Exploration Is a Bit Excessiv'), Xinghua, 27.01.2013. In Chinese.

'Kommende supermakter ser mot nord: Som Kina, så India' (Coming Superpowers Look to the North: India Following China'), Nordlys, 18.01.2013. In Norwegian.

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
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