1st Edition

Climate Governance in China Policy Diffusion of Emissions Trading in Shanghai and Hubei

By Lina Li, Maia Haru Hall Copyright 2024
    146 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how and why innovative climate policies spread across subnational regions and between governance levels in China.

    Despite the significance of emerging economies in a pathway to a zero-carbon future, research to date on China’s transformation governance remains limited. Drawing on a theoretical framework for policy diffusion and based on extensive data from expert interviews with Chinese decisionmakers and policy practitioners, Lina Li and Maia Haru Hall focus on the policy of emissions trading systems (ETS) and two key case studies: Shanghai and Hubei. The authors examine the role of the national government and how much freedom the subnational regions have in developing ETS policy, as well as pinpointing key actors and the role of policy and knowledge diffusion mechanisms. Overall, this book sheds light on the competition between China and the West in the transition to climate-friendly societies and economies, highlighting opportunities for cooperation between them.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental politics and policy, climate change, urban studies, and Chinese studies more broadly.


    List of acronyms and abbreviations

    1 Introduction

    China's role in the global transformation

    Lack of transformation governance research on China

    The fundamentals of policy diffusion

    About this book’s approach

    2 Climate governance and policymaking in China

    The Tiao-Kuai system

    Climate policy and ETS in China: from piloting to national policy

    The ETS pilots

    Institutional arrangements for climate policy in China

    3 Shanghai’s ETS and diffusion experience

    ETS policy developments

    Shanghai’s institutional setup

    Policy diffusion mechanisms

    Policy entrepreneurs

    4 Hubei’s ETS and diffusion experience

    ETS policy developments

    Hubei’s institutional setup

    Policy diffusion mechanisms

    Policy entrepreneurs

    5 Conclusion: The role of policy diffusion in China’s climate transformation

    Shanghai and Hubei: A comparison of diffusion patterns

    Diffusion mechanisms

    Institutions and actors

    Conceptual implications

    Practical implications

    6 Recent developments and a view ahead

    The influence of national policies and politics

    Progressive regions continue to expand their carbon markets and interact with others

    External influences on new dynamics in China's ETS policy diffusion

    The dawn of a new era




    Lina Li is the Asia Strategy Director at the International Energy Program (PIE), a platform hosted by the European Climate Foundation dedicated to securing a global clean power sector compatible with 1.5°C. With 15 years of experience in energy and climate policy, Lina has previously worked for various think tanks, consultancies, and NGOs, including Adelphi, Ecofys, and Greenovation Hub.

    Maia Haru Hall is a consultant at Adelphi, a leading independent think tank for climate, environment, and development. She is also part of the Secretariat of the International Carbon Action Partnership, specializing in the Asia-Pacific region and working in carbon pricing and broader climate policy.