The Power of Advice: Experts in Chinese Climate Change Politics

FNI Report 15/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 60 p.

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.