In this Analysis the 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. The Analysis identifies the key drivers and domestic players in China’s evolving climate change policies.
- China has invested significant financial and policy resources in actions which have the effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- 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 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.