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.

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.