In a new Lowy Institute Analysis 2014 Lowy Institute − Rio Tinto China Fellow, Lisa Williams, argues that despite China’s reputation for being a climate change laggard the country is putting real effort into reducing carbon emissions.
‘China has made significant efforts in recent years to put in place policies that have the effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even if carbon mitigation is not their primary driver’, said Lisa Williams.
Williams argues that China’s climate change policy is driven primarily by domestic considerations—energy demand, smog and economic restructuring—but international image is also a factor. The Analysis identifies key drivers and domestic players in China's evolving climate change policies.
The central government is increasingly consultative. Provincial governments and experts are gaining more influence over policy. As the range of players broadens, it opens up new opportunities for better foreign engagement with China on the climate change issue. ‘Increasing interest in consultation means an ever greater number of players, which dilutes the influence of traditional actors and increases the influence of new ones’, she concludes.
This publication is supported by the Lowy Institute − Rio Tinto China Fellowship.