Climate Change, Renewables and Industries in China: Puzzles, Strategies and Policies

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 15th March 2018

China is the world’s largest energy producer, consumer and CO2 emitter, creating challenges with unprecedented scales and urgency. The country’s renewable energy development has been full of puzzles. First, China resisted seriously against any CO2 mitigation commitment less than a decade ago, but with the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, it has been a surprising supporter of the international climate treaty. Second, its weak rule of law often results in ineffective policy enforcement and prevalent non-compliance to witness relatively poorer performance (or lower capacity factors) of wind turbines and solar PV. However, China has acquired the world’s largest wind and solar capacities, starting from a negligible base in 2000. Third, China barely had any internationally visible renewable energy firms in 2000, but in recent years its solar and wind industries have emerged to be the world’s biggest. This presentation explains the strategy and policy together with their strength and weakness behind the rapid evolution. Other countries might find the experiences helpful in designing their own climate, renewable and economic strategies and policies.

About the Speaker
Prof. Yuan Xu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management and leads the Environmental Policy and Governance Programme in the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research centers on energy and environmental policies and strategies, especially on their implementation as well as related technological innovation and industrial development. Before joining CUHK in August 2010, Prof. Xu received a Ph.D. degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University and was a postdoctoral research associate in the Industrial Performance Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an M.S. degree in climatology, a B.S. degree in atmospheric sciences and a bachelor's degree in economics, all from Peking University