This study traces the transnational interactions that contributed to introducing the low-carbon economy agenda into Chinese policymaking. A microprocessual two-level analysis (outside-in as well as inside-access) is employed to analyse transnational and domestic exchanges. The study provides evidence that low-carbon agenda-setting – introduced by transnational actors, backed by foreign funding, promoted by policy entrepreneurs from domestic research institutes, propelled by top-level attention, but only gradually and cautiously adopted by the government bureaucracy – can be considered a case of effective transnational diffusion based on converging perceptions of novel policy challenges and options. Opinion leaders and policy-brokers from the government-linked scientific community functioned as effective access points to the Chinese government’s policy agenda.
Yunnan’s drought continues. During China’s annual parliamentary session in March, the deputy party secretary of the south-west Chinese province, Qiu He, blamed spring floodwaters that flow through Yunnan and on into other countries for the water shortages.
He proposed a system of reservoirs, dams and tanks to store that water, which could then be distributed more evenly over time and between locations. But many complained that Chinese officials were trying to pass their own troubles on to others.
Historically, Yunnan hasn’t been known for suffering droughts. Today, however, it is famous for it.
The winter and spring droughts that started in 2009 continue to plague China’s south-west, harming the region’s vulnerable economy – particularly agriculture and forestry. Cash crops such as sugar cane and coffee have been lost, and the crisis is restricting Yunnan’s economic growth.
Article of Olivia Bina, “Responsibility for emissions and aspirations for development”, in Paul G. Harris (ed.),China’s responsibility for climate change: ethics, fairness, and environmental policy, University of Chicago Press, 2011. 256 p. Olivia Bina is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences University of Lisbon, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography and Resource Management of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also a member of UrbaChina.
Drawing on practices and theories of environmental justice, ‘China’s responsibility for climate change’ describes China’s contribution to global warming and analyzes its policy responses. Contributors critically examine China’s practical and ethical responsibilities to climate change from a variety of perspectives. They explore policies that could mitigate China’s environmental impact while promoting its own interests and meeting the international community’s expectations. The book is accessible to a wide readership, including academics, policy makers and activists.All royalties from sales of this book will be donated to Friends of the Earth.ll royalties from sales of this book will be donated to Friends of the Earth.
Introduction: Diplomacy, responsibility and China’s climate change policy / Paul G. Harris
Determining responsibility: Climate duties, human rights and historical emissions / Derek Bell
Responsibility for emissions and aspirations for development / Olivia Bina
Differentiating historical responsibilities for climate change / Christian Ellermann, Niklas Höhne and Benito Müller
The non-cooperator pays principle and the climate standoff / Jonathan Symons
Policy implications: Evaluating ethical obligations across scales of governance / Erich W. Schienke
Short-lived greenhouse gases and climate fairness / Frances C. Moore and Michael C. MacCracken
Sustainable consumption and production in global value chains / Patrick Schroeder
Global governance, responsibility and a new climate regime / Andreas Oberheitmann and Eva Sternfeld
Conclusion: Chinese responsibility for climate change / Paul G. Harris.