Towards a typology of pilots: the Shanghai emissions-trading scheme pilot

Journal of Chinese Governance, published online 21.08.2019, 30 p. DOI: 10.1080/23812346.2019.1652492

Piloting has become a prevalent feature of Chinese politics. However, there is a gap in classification of pilot types. This article offers an initial ordering of pilot types, categorized on the basis of institutional dynamics, changes, and staying power of institutions; and how pilots are handled by the local government. Government–business interactions are seen as an indicator of the government’s handling of the pilot. Three pilot types are proposed: perfunctory, policy-focused, and goal-oriented. One case is examined in depth: the Shanghai carbon-market emissions trading scheme pilot, from the time it was announced in November 2011, to the end of the first compliance cycle in June 2014. The Shanghai pilot was arguably a goal-oriented one: the local government put considerable effort into ensuring positive results, by allocating resources and interacting with the enrolled companies. The case-study draws on written sources such as government notices, regulations and news, as well as on semi-structured interviews conducted in 2015.



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