China's Climate Policy: Does an Arctic Dimension Exist?

In Svein Vigeland Rottem and Ida Folkestad Soldtvedt, Arctic Governance: Norway, Russia and Asia. Volume 3. I.B. Tauris, 2020, chapter 12. 

China’s climate policy and actions are of global relevance given that it is the world’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter. Furthermore, the Arctic is regarded as an important source of knowledge for future climate development. In recent years, China has shown a growing interest in the Arctic region and a number of studies and reports have discussed whether China has geopolitical intentions in the Arctic linked to global security, shipping routes and resource interests. However, these studies have not looked into a possible climate policy strand in China’s engagement in the Arctic. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap. The overarching question is whether and to what extent an Arctic Dimension in Chinese climate policy exists, and whether there are signs of potential linkages between China’s engagement in the Arctic and its domestic climate policies. We have found that an Arctic dimension exists in domestic climate policy, although the link is not direct. However, there are points of convergence between the Arctic climate and China’s domestic climate policymaking summarized in the chapter. The Arctic policy white paper launched in January 2018, confirms this observation: environmental protection and climate change stand out and form the backdrop to China’s engagement in the Arctic.



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