National climate change negotiations and governance in China
As the world debates what the next steps should be in the international effort to address climate change, China is at the center of the debate. China’s emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have increased rapidly along with her economic emergence, and China will soon surpass the United State as the world’s largest GHG emitter. China’s decisions on climate change will therefore profoundly affect future global GHG emissions. China ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 as a non-Annex I country but has resisted reduction commitments for developing countries. As the largest and most populous developing country, China has played a major role in shaping the position of developing countries in the climate negotiations as part of the "Group of 77 and China." Developed countries such as the United States have expressed great concern over China’s role in the future climate change regime. Thus, engaging China in both the future climate change regime and GHG mitigation/adaptation activities is critical for global climate efforts to be effective. How this can be accomplished is an important topic for research.
At ECI, research on climate change in China will address the following questions:
- What has China done to address climate change, in terms of domestic governance, policy, and mitigation and adaptation actions?
- How can China be encouraged to play an active role in the future climate change regime? What should that role be? How equity and justice issues can be effectively addressed in climate change regimes?
- How are non-nation state actors involved in China’s climate change actions and what can be done to better engage such actors in climate change governance and actions?
- Can China be a leader in moving to a low-carbon economy? What roles should developed countries play in this transition in terms of institutional capacity building and technology transfer?
- How do China’s actions to address climate change compare with other developing countries and what lessons does China’s experience provide for other developing countries?