UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strategic localization : China's climate governance (2007-2016) Wang, Juan 2016

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_2016_november_wang_juan.pdf [ 880.94kB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0319161.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0319161-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0319161-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0319161-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0319161-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0319161-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0319161-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0319161-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0319161.ris

Full Text

  Strategic Localization: China’s Climate Governance (2007-2016) by   Juan Wang  B.B.A., Henan University of Technology, 2009 M.A., Shanghai International Studies University, 2011   A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies  (Political Science)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  October 2016 ©Juan Wang, 2016   ii Abstract As the world’s largest GHG emitter, China’s climate governance no doubt matters for the future of global climate governance. Since 2007, China has improved its domestic climate governance through progressive policy measures and institutional building, at both national and local levels. In recent years, China has also been proactive in the multilateral and bilateral climate negotiations. Under the UNFCCC framework, China’s contribution to the success of 2015 Paris Agreement negotiation is undeniable. Prior to the 2016 G20 Hangzhou summit, China announced its ratification of the Paris agreement and further placed more focus on climate issues in Hangzhou summit. Bilaterally, the China-US Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change in 2014 and 2015 showcases China’s political commitment to address climate change. Acknowledging China’s active climate actions, my research question asks: how do we explain China’s progressive climate governance in recent years? What are the driving forces behind China’s climate actions? The theory of norm localization proposed by Dr. Amitav Acharya stresses the agency role of local actors in norm diffusion, which opens research space for investigating the causal relationships between China’s domestic political economy and its progressive climate actions in recent years. This thesis argues that, China’s progressive climate governance can be explained by its strategic localization of climate change based on its need of energy security and economic transition. China has strategically utilized climate change as a normative platform to facilitate and legitimize its comprehensive transformation into low-carbon economy. In this process, the central governmenta l agencies play a dominant role in framing and merging climate governance with China’s new development agendas. Overall, behind the Chinese philosophy, climate governance is what China should do, but China takes actions in a strategic way to align with its national interests, politica l ly and economically.  iii Preface  This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Juan Wang.                       iv Table of Contents   Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………… ii Preface ………………………………………………………………….………………….…... iii  Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………………………… iv List of Tables ……………………………………………………………………………………vi List of Abbreviations …………………………………………………………………….…….vii Acknowledgements …………………………………………………………. …….…….……viii Dedication ………………………………………………………………………………….........ix Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………...…1 Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………………….6    Theories on Interactions between International Institutions and Domestic Politics ……………6    Domestic Factors ………………………………………………………………...………….......8    Literature on Chinese Climate and Energy Policies ……………………………………………11    Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………13 Dependent Variable: China’s Partial Compliance with its G20 Commitments ……………14 Theoretical Framework: Norm Localization …………………………………………………19 Independent Variable: “Strategic Localization” Model ……………………………………...20     Top-Down Governance Approach …………………………………………………………….20     Domestic Development Agenda ………………………………………………………………26     Strategic Participation in Global Climate Governance ………………………………………..28     Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………...29 Empirical Analysis: Variation in Climate and Energy Governance ………………………..30     Partial Compliance on Climate Change ………………………………………………………30  v     Partial Compliance on Fossivv57l Fuel Subsidies ……………………………………………32        Full Compliance on Clean Energy Technology ………………………………………………35     Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………...38 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………39 Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………41 Appendix: National Policies on Climate Change (2007-2015, China) ………………………45                     vi List of Tables  Table 1 Ranking of compliance with climate change and energy issues (2009-2015) …………...3 Table 2 Country profile of GHG emission, 2012 (MtCO2eq) ……………………………….….15 Table 3 China’s compliance performance on climate change, fossil fuel subsidies, and clean energy technology (2009-2015) …………………………………………………………………….…...17 Table 4 Key actors in China’s climate governance (2007-2016) ………………………….…….22 Table 5 China’s compliance on climate change in G20 (2009-2015) …………………….….….30 Table 6 China’s compliance on fossil fuel subsidies in G20 (2009-2015) ………………………32 Table 7 China’s compliance on clean energy technology in G20 (2009-2015) …………………35               vii List of Abbreviations  CCP                  Chinese Communist Party CCAN              China Civil Climate Action Network  CDM                Clean Development Mechanism CMA                China Meteorological Administration (CMA) CSSCCF          China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund FYP                 Five Year Plan GHG                Greenhouse Gas IEA                  International Energy Agency IPCC                Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change MOFA             Ministry of Foreign Affairs NDRC              National Development and Reform Commission NLGCC            National Leading Group to Address Climate Change NPC                  National People’s Congress SOE                  State-Owned Enterprise UNFCCC         United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change         viii Acknowledgements  I offer my sincere gratitude to the faculty, staff and my close fellow friends at the Department of Political Science, Institute of Asian Research and St. John’s College, who have helped me during my study and life at UBC.    I owe special thanks to Prof. Yves Tiberghien, my thesis supervisor, who has broadened my vision of the world through his tirelessly entrepreneurial research and work in global governance. Also, Prof. Tiberghien, as a life mentor, has tremendously inspired me the importance of pursuing happiness in life with his passion, compassion and optimism.  I would also like to thank Prof. Peter Dauvergne for his penetrating questions in China’s climate governance and insightful feedback in my thesis argument, Dr. Jennifer Allan for her knowledge in global climate negotiations that has provided useful guidance in the early stage of this research, and my friend PhD candidate Edgar Liao for his constructive feedback on proofreading.   Special thanks are owed to my parents, Meicheng Wang and Qiongying Xu, who have supported me throughout my years of education in Canada and China, both morally and financially.           ix Dedication                To my parents                  1 Introduction In 2015, international negotiations on climate change finally achieved a breakthrough after much intransigence when 196 member-states signed the Paris Agreement1 and pledged action on climate change. Suffice to say, the Paris agreement could not have happened without the prior US-China bilateral agreement on climate change in which China, as a Non-Annex I party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the world’s largest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitter, commits to “lower carbon dioxide aemissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% from the 2005 level by 2030.”2  Compared to China’s rigid business-as-usua l position during the 2009 Copenhagen Summit3, China’s proactive commitments and diplomatic efforts in 2015 may come as a surprise for international society. Other than its positive stance during the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiations, the Chinese government had also made other progressive steps, such as the pledge of 20 billion yuan to support developing countries to combat climate change via the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, the 2015 China-US Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change, and the ratification of the Paris Agreement prior to G20 Hangzhou Summit on September 4th, 2016. Why has China changed its behavior and played such a positive role in global climate governance?   Global climate governance is one of the emerging level playing fields for global governance. It encompasses and demonstrates not only interest-based competition among nation-states, but also normative competition, because climate change represents a ‘tragedy of commons’ on a global                                                  1 The agreement will become legally binding if it is assented to by at least 55 countries which, together, account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Source: "Adoption of the Paris agreement—Proposal by the President—Draft decision -/CP.21" (PDF). UNFCCC. 2015-12-12. Archived from the original on 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 2 “U.S.-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change”, The White House, September 25, 2015.  3 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/dec/20/copenhagen-climate-summit-china-react ion.  2 scale (Harrison and Sundstrom, 2010). Given the close issue-linkage between climate change and economic development, this new emphasis on global climate governance introduces a brand-new platform, as well as an excellent opportunity for major developed and developing countries, to strengthen its presence and weight within the global political economy.   The United Nations-sponsored treaty system prior to 2015 had not been able to accomplish much, as the Kyoto Protocol placed no binding responsibilities on developing countries. Furthermore, the US did not ratify the agreement. Some governments have hence tried to create smaller clubs of key countries that could cooperate on climate change issues (Keohane and Victor, 2011). One of these, the G20, has been the primary forum for global economic coordination. Even though the G20 is primarily an international institution focusing on global economic governance, the close association between economic growth and climate change has made climate change and energy issues (fossil fuel subsidies and clean energy technology) strong recurring themes at G20 summits since 2008, particularly after the 2014 Brisbane Summit4. However, it has been unable to make climate change a focal area for a long time. It was only in 2014 that this changed and in recent years, the G20 has become an emerging platform for major emitting countries to coordinate international cooperation on climate change. In 2016, it placed even more focus on this issue during the G20 Hangzhou summit with China as the host country. Complementary to the UNFCCC, the G20 has been a practical and efficient locus for advancing low-cost measures to mitigate domestic GHG emissions.                                                    4 During the 2014 G20 summit, world leaders have forced Australia to include stronger language on climate change in the G20 Communique. The U.S. President Barack Obama and the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, both urged G20 countries to contribute to the green climate fund, which is seen as critical to a successful outcome at crucial climate negotiations in Paris next year.   3 Moreover, the G20 research group from the University of Toronto has been assessing, annually, each G20 member country’s compliance with selected primary commitments (that represent the central themes of each summit).5 Their compliance evaluation reports provide a third-party proxy to assess the Kyoto Protocol Non Annex I developing countries’ compliance with climate change commitments. They provide a useful lens to see the variations of the emerging economies’ climate behavior prior to the ratification and enforcement of the Paris Agreement. Table 1 shows the variations of seven6 selected developing countries’ compliance with climate change and energy-related policies. These are based on their average scores on each issue area from 2009 to 2015.  Ranking Climate Change Score Fossil Fuel Subsidies Score Clean Energy Technology Score 1 South Africa  0.3 Brazil 0.5 China 1 2 Indonesia 0.3 Mexico 0.5 India 1 3 Mexico 0.3 South Africa 0.3 Mexico 1 4 China 0 India 0.17 Brazil 0.8 5 India -0.3 China 0 Indonesia 0.6 6 Brazil -0.3 Indonesia -0.17 Turkey 0.6 7 Turkey -0.67 Turkey -0.5 South Africa 0.2 Average Score -0.05 0.11 0.74       Table 1 Ranking of compliance with climate change and energy issues (2009-2015)  Note: Score for individual country is calculated on the basis of its average score from 2009 to 2015. According to the methodology used in the compliance reports, -1 indicates non-compliance, 0 indicates partial compliance or work in progress, and 1 indicates full compliance.                                                   5 Reference Manual for Summit Commitment and Compliance Coding, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, 2014. 6 Among the emerging power group in G20, Russia was not selected because it’s regarded as a developed country and it’s a former G8 member country; South Korea was not selected because its GDP per capita is as high as US $34, 549 in 2015 according to OECD data; Saudi Arabia was not selected because its economy is highly dependent on the oil industry which makes it an outlier on the compliance of the three selected issue areas.   4 Source: G20 Compliance Reports 2009 - 2015, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, and 2015 climate change was not selected as one of the prior issue areas in the G20 compliance reports.  According to this comparative analysis, China is ranked in the middle among the seven developing countries in G20, demonstrating “partial compliance”7 with its overall commitments (2009-2015). It also shows varying compliance levels on three issue areas: 1) climate change, 2) fossil fuel subsidies, 3) clean energy technology. Empirically, this finding overshadows China’s progressive national response to climate change since 2007 onwards 8 . Therefore, the research questions guiding this analysis are: how do we understand China’s progressive climate governance in recent years? How do we explain China’s “partial compliance” with its climate change commitments in G20 (2009-2015)? Answering these questions can clarify the causal relationship between the domestic political economy of China and its climate behavior at both the national and internationa l levels.   This thesis takes a “rationally constructive” approach and uses the theoretical framework of norm localization to explain China’s progressive climate governance in recent years. Specifically, this thesis constructs the “strategic localization” model to examine China’s “partial compliance ” behavior in G20. The “strategic localization” model is proposed on the basis of the norm localization theory that emphasizes the agency role of local actors in accepting transnational norms to enhance its authority and legitimacy. This thesis argues that China’s progressive climate governance can be explained by China’s strategic localization of climate change based on its need of energy security and economic transition. Acknowledging the responsibility to address climate change, China has strategically utilized climate change as a normative platform to facilitate and                                                  7 Definition of partial compliance will be discussed in the dependent variable section. 8 Refer to the Appendix for details of China’s  national policies on climate change (2007-2015).   5 legitimize its comprehensive transformation into a “new normal” or low-carbon economy. The central Chinese government has framed and merged climate governance into its domestic development agendas like “sustainable growth”, “Energy Revolution”, and “the building of Ecological Civilization”, through top-down governance and innovative policy tools on climate change and the energy industry.   To test the argument, this research draws heavily from China’s national policies (2007-2016) on climate change and energy reform to examine and explain the variations of its compliance with the climate and energy commitments in G20. This thesis finds that China’s uneven compliance in the three different areas has been influenced by the contesting and competing interests of the numerous actors and stakeholders involved in its domestic agenda. The empirical analysis shows that China is a global leader in clean energy technology development and is becoming a global leader in international cooperation on climate change. Yet, it is falling behind on fossil fuel subsidies due to the backlash from domestic interest groups, i.e. oil and gas state-owned enterprises (SOEs).   In the rest of this thesis, the first section will review the most relevant scholarship on theoretical explanations of interactions between international institutions and domestic politics, on domestic factors that influence national compliance on climate change, and on empirical research on Chinese climate and energy politics. The second section will introduce the dependent variable of this research. The third section will introduce the thesis’s theoretical framework and independent variable of “strategic localization” model. The fourth section will test the argument through the empirical analysis of China’s compliance with its G20 commitments. The last section will conclude the research with theoretical reflections and empirical findings for further research.  6 Literature Review This section reviews three strands of literature - existing theories on interactions between international institutions and domestic politics, literature on the domestic factors that influence national compliance on climate change, and finally, the most relevant empirical research on China’s climate and energy policies since mid-2000s.    Theories on Interactions between International Institutions and Domestic Politics In IR theories, both institutionalism and constructivism approaches have made their theoretical contributions to the study of interactions between international institutions and domestic politics in recent decades. First, the rational-choice institutionalism approach mainly explores how international institutions change the balance of power, information access and interests held by the different domestic actors. Rational choice institutionalists argue that international institut ions function as social mobilization mechanism in domestic politics, especially in the context of international environmental and human rights institutions (Dai, 2002, 2005, 2007; Simmons, 2010). While examining the domestic and international linkages in environmental politics, Economy and Schreurs explore the impact of the internationalization of environmental politics on domestic political institutions and policy-making processes, and the influence of domestic policy priorities on international environmental negotiations. Their state-centric approach finds that domestic political and economic structures and institutions strongly mitigate the effectiveness of linkages in promoting cooperation among states in addressing large-scale environmental problems such as climate change (Economy and Schreurs, 1997).  Secondly, the constructivism literature focused on the assimilating effects of norms on domestic  7 politics through international institutions. With international norms as the independent variable and domestic actors’ preferences as dependent variable, constructivists have proposed three explanatory models. The first is the organizational convergence model. It proposes that international organizations induce organizational convergence with their member-states through norms transfer (Finnemore, 1993). The second theoretical model is social learning, whereby ‘agent compliance with normative prescriptions’ is attained through learning and social interaction, instead of political pressure and individual choice (Cortell and Davis, 1996, 2000; Checkel, 1997, 1999). The third model is developed on the basis of two concepts “cultural match” and “norm localization” – it focuses on the dynamic interaction between international and domestic norms (Checkel, 1999; Acharya, 2004). In particular, Acharya’s (2004) norm localization theory emphasizes the agency role of local actors in the process of norm diffusion. The classical work on norm dynamics and political change argues that normalization could be understood as a three-stage process —norm emergence, norm cascade and internalization— with each stage featuring different actors, motives, and mechanisms of influence (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998). They argue that, specifically for the norm cascade stage, states comply with norms through the causal mechanism of socialization and “peer pressure”, for reasons that relate to their identities as members of an international society.   These approaches highlight different causal mechanisms that explain the interaction between international institutions and domestic politics and hence, China’s climate governance behaviour. This thesis contributes to the existing theories by proposing the “strategical localization” model to explain China’s climate governance and test it with China’s compliance with climate and energy commitments in G20. Furthermore, to resolve the dilemma of the existing rationalist and constructivist approaches, which tend to dichotomize norms and rational-based interests and treat  8 them as mutually exclusive, Finnemore and Sikkink propose that there is an intimate relationship between norms and rationality in which norm conformance can often be self-interested, depending on how one specifies interests and the nature of the norm (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998). This thesis adds empirical evidence to this argument by showing how China reconciles the conflict between climate governance norms and its existing interests of economic development through strategically incorporating climate change into its domestic development agenda.     Domestic Factors This part mainly reviews the literature on factors that influence variations in national compliance on climate change at the national level, and some key reports issued by UNFCCC IPCC Work Group III and the International Energy Agency.   National Economic Structures The first factor under consideration is national economic structure. The overall picture in this strand of scholarship is empirical rather than theoretical. Having reviewed much of the existing research on climate change politics, Bernauer concludes that GHG emissions are thus far determined primarily by economic structures and processes rather than by political factors such as democracy and good governance (Bernauer, 2013). The IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report supports this observation, by showing that CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% to the total GHG emission increase between 1970 and 2010, with a contribution of similar percentage over the 2000-2010 period (IPCC, 2014). In sum, economic growth and fossil fuel consumption together generate the boom of GHG emission in recent decades. Therefore, attention needs to be paid to the relationship between national economic  9 structures and climate governance.   Mitigation and Adaptation Cost The second factor that this review considers is that of mitigation and adaptation cost. Most of the literature on mitigation and adaptation cost are economic and engineering studies that are not useful for this study. However, the author has relied on the most updated IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report for an overall picture of mitigation and adaptation policies that have been practiced around the world. First, mitigation policies and institutions: 1) substantial reductions in emissions would require large changes in investment patterns (i.e., low-carbon electricity supply; investment in the energy system; energy efficiency investments in transport, buildings and industry); 2) there is no widely agreed definition of what constitutes climate finance, but estimates of the financial flows associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation are available (IPCC, 2014). Second, in terms of mitigation, sector-specific policies have been more widely used than economy-wide polices. Third, the reduction of subsidies for GHG-related activities in various sectors can achieve emission reductions, depending on the social and economic context. Fourth, technology policy complements other mitigation policies. Finally, in many countries, the private sector plays central roles in the processes that lead to emissions as well as to mitigation. Within appropriate enabling environments, the private sector, along with the public sector, can play an important role in financing mitigation. The share of total mitigation finance from the private sector, acknowledging data limitations, is estimated to be on average between two-thirds and three-fourths on the global level (2010-2012) (IPCC, 2014). In summary, there is no consensus so far on how measure the exact mitigation and adaptation cost and it is also based on each individual national context. Therefore, in the case of China, the selection of national GHG emission as the  10 measurement for mitigation and adaptation cost is not only feasible but also makes more sense at this stage.  Domestic Governance As compared to the above two strands of scholarship, the scholarship on political factors is more theoretical-oriented. First, there are scholars interested in explaining the remaining variation in emissions with political factors such as democracy and indicators of good governance. Most of these studies, thus far, have not been able to robustly prove that such factors possess significant impact (Battig & Bernauer 2009, Bernauer & Koubi 2009, Spilker 2012). Second, the “non-effect” of democracy on GHG emissions suggests that GHG emissions are driven primarily by socioeconomic factors, including income levels, population density, industrial structure, past choices in respect to electric and thermal energy supply, historical evolution of public transportation networks, etc. However, Bernauer argues that this finding might overlook the fact that advanced industrialized democracies have relocated pollution- intensive economic activity to poorer countries (Bernauer, 2013). Third, Spilker finds that developing countries that are more involved in international organizations (measured by numbers of membership) tend to have lower GHG emissions, independently of their democracy level (Spilker, 2012). Fourth, other studies show that democracies are likely to adopt more ambitious climate policy commitments relative to other countries (Neumayer 2002, Stein 2008, Battig & Bernauer 2009). In summary, research regarding the relationship between political regime and GHG emission done so far have focused on the advanced industrialized democracies rather than emerging economies like China. Therefore, given the salience of China and other emerging economies to the contributions of GHG emission, it is essential to do more empirical research on the side of developing countries.   11 Literature on Chinese Climate and Energy Policies China’s climate governance is more influenced by domestic factors, such as economic development and energy security, and less influenced by international factors. In the context of China, we must examine its energy policies in addition to its climate policies because energy is not only the basis for economic development but more so an important cause of domestic pollut ion and global emissions (Heggelund, Andresen and Buan, 2010). Overall, this section discusses the literature on China’s climate governance from three broad dimensions.   The first dimension focuses on the main determinants of China’s climate governance. While Mathews and Tan have argued that China’s recent shift to renewable energy has been completely driven by its concern over energy security, rather than climate change concerns (Matthews and Tan, 2014), this thesis favors the views of Heggelund, Andresen and Buan. They identify three factors that are decisive for China’s climate change policies - economy, energy, and perceived vulnerability (Heggelund, Andresen and Buan, 2010). Specifically, Schroeder argues that China switched from a skeptical attitude to a more favorable view of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the hope for technology transfer and additional foreign investments (Schroeder, 2009). Furthermore, others argue that China has sought to use the CDM to advance its domestic climate governance also suggests the close association between economic goals and energy policies (Held, Roger and Nag, 2013).     The second dimension examines the key actors in the making of China’s climate and energy policies. In general, state actors exert strong influence over non-state actors, such as the intellec tua l community of scientists and experts as well as environmental NGOs. More specifica lly, Heggelund, Andresen and Buan argue that the National Development and Reform Commiss ion  12 (NDRC) is the key player that coordinates China’s climate policy through the prism of economy and energy (Heggelund, Andresen and Buan, 2010). This is even though these non-state actors have become more active in engaging with international environmental NGOs in recent years (Schroeder, 2011). International institutions, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mostly exert influence on China’s climate policies through interaction with the Chinese scientific community (Economy, 1997). Private business actors and NGOs are also taking up roles in the CDM governance process during its implementation in China, even though state regulation continues to assert dominating influence. However, there is an absence of lobbying activities by the business community in the Chinese CDM market. This is due to a lack of technology transfer resulting from the Chinese government’s regulations of the 51% ownership rule that allows CDM to be utilized only in companies that are 51% under Chinese ownership, and thus control, limit severely the willingness of foreign companies for technology transfer (Schroeder, 2009).  The third lens identifies challenges in China’s climate governance. On the one hand, the Chinese central government faces obstacles in enforcing its various climate and energy policies because policy priorities differ within vertical government hierarchies (Held, Roger and Nag, 2013). On the other hand, the expansion of China’s renewable energy is unsustainable because its existing energy infrastructure is inadequate. To summarize, China’s domestic climate governance is by and large dominated by the state actors given the nature of its political regime, particularly the central governmental agencies (e.g. NDRC). However, non-state actors (e.g. scientists and multinationa l corporations) and international institutions (e.g. the UNFCCC and G20) are playing an increasingly important role in the process of socialization for policy-makers and the public.   13  Summary This thesis makes three contributions to the above-mentioned literature. First, the Chinese case study presents a theoretical framework to explain the varying levels of compliance on climate change that could be applied to other emerging and developing countries. Secondly, the understanding of China’s climate politics could provide new perspectives to the existing literature, most of which has been built on the examples of advanced industrialized countries. Furthermore, it might offer some insights for non-state actors and international institutions on how to influence climate policy decision-making and compliance behavior in China.                 14  Dependent Variable: China’s Partial Compliance with its G20 commitments To start with, in this research, the G20 has been selected as the international institution to examine developing countries’ compliance with their climate-related commitments for three reasons. First, the G20’s role in global environmental governance has dramatically increased in the past few years due to the close connections between economic development and environment protection. The major developed and developing economies in G20 have accordingly greater economic incentives to prioritize and coordinate practical international cooperation on environment-related issues, particularly on the development of clean energy technology. Second, in addition to the UNFCCC, G20 is potentially a “soft” institutional platform for climate governance of key developing emitters given the fact that international commitments in the G20 Communiqués carry weight with individual country’s normative obligations, and five of the seven listed developing economies in G20 have ranked among the top 10 emitters of GHG for the period 1990 - 2012 (see Table 2 below). China has been ranked as the world’s largest single emitter, followed by India (4th), Brazil (7th), Indonesia (8th), and Mexico (9th). Third, the G20 Research Group from the University of Toronto has been tracking each G20 member country’s compliance with its commitments from 2008 to 2015 (refer to Table 1). This provides accessible data to monitor major developing countries’ compliance with their climate and energy commitments.  Profiles/Country Brazil  China India South Africa Mexico Indonesia Turkey UNFCCC Status Non-Annex I Party Non-Annex I Party Non-Annex I Party Non-Annex I Party Non-Annex I Party Non-Annex I Party Annex I** Party  15 Profiles/Country Brazil  China India South Africa Mexico Indonesia Turkey Percentage of total GHG emission by 2012 2.34% 25.26% 6.96% 1.6% 1.67% 1.76% 1% Ranking of total GHG emission by 2012 7th 1st 4th 12th (2010) 9th 8th 19th (2010)               Table 2 Country profile of GHG emission 2012 (MtCO2eq)  Source: Calculation of percentage based on the UNFCCC National GHG Inventory Data for the period 1990 – 2012.  Secondly, China’s compliance with its G20 climate and energy commitments has been used as a proxy to assess China’s climate governance behavior for the reasons given above. The dependent variable of “China’s Partial Compliance in G20” is defined by China’s overall longitud ina l compliance on three issue areas.   The comparative analysis of Table 1 above showcases the variations among the seven developing countries and China’s compliance on three issue areas. First, on climate change commitments, the top three countries, South Africa, Mexico and Indonesia, receive the same score of 0.3, followed by China in 4th place right above the average score of -0.05. Below the average score, India and Brazil receive the same score of -0.3, leaving Turkey, the only Annex I** developing country in this group, to be the 7th on climate change. Second, on fossil fuel subsidies commitments, the overall average score of 0.11 is higher than that of climate change (-0.05), indicating that seven developing countries have more or less taken some measures to reduce fossil fuel subsidies within their national borders. However, China is the only country receiving a score lower than the average and that of other BRICS (excluding Russia) countries. Third, on clean energy technology  16 commitments, the average score of 0.74 is the highest among the three compliance issue areas, which proves that clean energy technology policy efficiently complements other mitiga t ion policies in most developing countries. Among the seven countries, China, India and Brazil have received a score of 1 indicating their full compliance in this regard.   Thirdly, a close comparison between China and India’s achievements in meeting their commitments further illuminates China’s progress in climate governance in the recent years. As two of the top 10 GHG emitters, China and India symbolize two emerging players that are reshuffling the balance of global economic power as well as the landscape of global climate governance. For one, China, as the second largest economy in terms of its nominal GDP (2015) and the largest GHG emitter (2012), generated more than a quarter of the world’s total GHG emission (1990-2012) while maintaining a high GDP growth rate for the past three decades. Conversely, India is the seventh largest economy by nominal GDP (2015), and ranked the 4th largest GHG emitter (1990-2012) yet with the percentage accounting only a quarter of China’s emission. According to the conventional interest-based explanation of international environmenta l policy, the greater the abatement costs of emission reductions, the more reluctant a country should be to support international regulations (other factors being equal) (Sprinz and Vaahtoranta, 1994). Based on the calculation of its interests, China should be comparatively much more reluctant to take actions to comply with its G20 commitments on climate change or energy issues, because it will cost more for China than India to deliver those international commitments. However, if we refer to the compliance results in Table 1, China has actually outperformed India in the compliance on climate change, slightly underperformed India on fossil fuel subsidies, and performed equally  17 well with India on clean energy technology. China’s performance begs the question: What are the driving forces behind China?   Finally, to measure China’s performance, detailed records of China’s compliance on three issue areas in G20 are shown in Table 3. First, China receives an average score of 0 on climate change, indicating “inability to commit” or “work-in-progress”9 according to the Reference Manual for Summit Commitment and Compliance Coding. Second, China receives an average score of 0 on fossil fuel subsidies, with fluctuating scores between 2010 and 2015. Third, China receives a consistent score of 1 on clean energy technology, indicating full compliance from 2009 onwards. In summary, China’s partial compliance with its G20 commitments can be broken down into 1) partial compliance on climate change; 2) partial compliance on fossil fuel subsidies; 3) full compliance on clean energy technology. Note that, as a proxy, China’s partial compliance with its G20 commitments is not an equivalent to China’s climate actions for two reasons. First, the G20 commitments generally become stronger annually which indicate that G20 member countries, including China, have improved their compliance with climate and energy issues. Secondly, China has taken its own strategic approach to climate change and energy development in recent years, which is not always in line with G20 commitments.   China Climate Change Fossil Fuel Subsidies Clean Energy Technology 2009   1 2010  0                                                   9 An “inability to commit” refers to factors outside of the executive branch that impede implementation. A “work in progress” refers to an initiative that has been launched by a government but has not yet been completed by the time of the next summit, and whose results therefore cannot be judged. Source: Reference Manual for Summit Commitment  and Compliance Coding (July 2014), p. 20.  18 China Climate Change Fossil Fuel Subsidies Clean Energy Technology   -1 1 2011  1 1 2012 1 1  2013 -1  1 2014 0 -1 1 2015  0  Average Score 0 0 1              Table 3 China’s compliance performance on climate change, fossil fuel subsidies, and clean energy technology (2009-2015)  Source: G20 Compliance Reports 2009 - 2015, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto. The empty blank represents that the issue area was not selected in the compliance reports in respective year.                    19 Theoretical Framework: Norm Localization The theory of norm localization proposed by Dr. Amitav Acharya (2004) provides an analyt ica l approach that highlights the dynamic process of localization in which the agency role of local actors in norm diffusion is more crucial than that of outside actors. Localization is defined as the active construction (through discourse, framing, grafting, and cultural selection) of foreign ideas with local beliefs and practices (Acharya, 2004). This dynamic theory of localization proposes a causal mechanism to explain “‘the variation in the norm’s acceptance’, which is measured by the changes norms produced in the goals and institutional apparatuses of the regional group. According to the causal mechanism advanced by the theory, “the variation in the norm’s acceptance” can be explained by the differential ability of local agents to reconstruct the norms to ensure a better fit with prior local norms, and by the potential of the localized norm to enhance the appeal of some of their prior beliefs and institutions (Acharya, 2004). Using the analytical framework of norm localization, the following section on independent variable examines how the Chinese governmental agencies strategically utilize climate change as an opportunity to achieve energy security, and to develop a low-carbon economy.          20 Independent Variable: “Strategic Localization” Model  In this section, the author adapts the theory of “norm localization” to propose the model of “strategic localization” to explain the micro variations of China’s compliance in G20. This model allows us to investigate the dynamics within China’s climate governance, in which top-down governance and national structural reforms towards the development of a low-carbon economy stand out as the major driving forces of China’s climate behavior. The author intends to integrate normative and interests arguments in explaining China’s climate behavior by showing that the demand for new norms is both motivated by, and utilized for, China’s strategic interests, such as its domestic economic reform and energy security concerns.  The “Strategic Localization” Model   The model, when applied to China’s climate governance, allows us to make three propositions:  Top-Down Governance Approach First, the author proposes that the top-down governance approach shapes the landscape of China’s climate governance to such an extent that governmental agencies, among all actors, play a dominant role in the norm localization of climate change. The key local actor that defines China’s climate behavior is government agents whose interest is the government’s political legitimacy. In China, the political legitimacy of the one-party ruling regime lies in its ability to lift the Chinese people out of poverty and achieve higher levels of economic development. In the short term, Chinese political leaders cannot reduce their dependency on economic development as a source of legitimacy. Hence, the Chinese government has to strategically integrate its climate governance with its political-expedient priority of economic development. In their policy-making, they have  21 had to compromise between international normative pressure and domestic instrumenta l considerations. Its governmental agencies strategically incorporate climate governance into domestic structural reforms and operationalize these within China’s energy security and circular economy.   However, their reform efforts encounter obstruction from local state and non-state actors, such as provincial oil and gas SOEs that are anxious to protect their own political and economic interests. Even though government agents are the key actors in China’s climate governance, other actors like scientists, business community, civil society, international governmental and non-governmenta l organizations, also serve to illustrate the strategic localization of climate change in the Chinese context. Furthermore, as China is shifting towards a low-carbon economy, an increasing number of stakeholders, such as the emerging players in China’s carbon market, are exerting influence on the policy tools that Chinese policy-makers may choose. Even though state agencies dominate China’s climate governance, yet more stakeholders are joining in this level-playing field as China has begun to establish an open carbon market to meet its environmental objectives. Table 4 outlines the key actors in China’s climate governance and their respective roles.             22 State Actors Roles Categories National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) • China’s  central planning agency under the State Council • responsible for studying, developing and setting policies related to economic and social development, including the “Five-Year-Plans ”  (FYPs). Since 2006, climate and energy policies have been central elements of the FYPs • does routine work for the National Leading Group  to Address Climate Change through the Department of Climate Change Response  • approves major projects in the energy industry • controls the pricing bureau (including electricity  and oil pricing) • domestic • national • governmental National Leading Group to Address Climate Change (NLGCC) • takes on the leadership role of coordinating policy-making on climate change with 27 member agencies • devises national climate change strategies, directions and measures • unifies national actions on climate change • reviews the response plans for international cooperation and negotiation on climate change • coordinates solutions on key issues in responding to climate change • domestic • national • governmental Department of Climate Change Response (under NDRC) • analyzes the effects of climate change on the economic and social development • organizes the creation of major strategic plans and policies to cope with climate change • supervises United Nations Framework Convention on Climate-related work • organizes international negotiations of climate change in conjunction with interested parties • coordinates international cooperation and capacity building in response to climate change • organizes the implementation of the clean development mechanism (CDM) • undertakes specific tasks of the Climate Leadership Group • domestic • national • governmental National People’s  Congress (NPC) • China’s  top legislative body with the highest authority • ratifies climate change international conventions • enacts laws on climate change and energy, i.e. the Renewable Energy Law (2005) • issues resolutions to address climate change • domestic • national • legislative Chinese Communist Party (CCP) • influences the law-making process by controlling appointments to NPC’s  Standing Committee and top positions in ministries and commissions • domestic • national • governmental   23 State Actors Roles Categories Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) • defends China’s  position of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in international negotiation on climate change • devises the role of climate diplomacy in China’s  foreign policy • domestic • national • governmental China Meteorological Administration (CMA) • provides meteorological information and service for decision-makers regarding disaster prevention and economic activities • works closely with NDRC on climate adaptation • domestic • national • functional National Energy Administration (on behalf of National Energy Commission) • manages the energy industry • drafts energy plans and policies • interacts with international organizations, i.e., IEA • authorizing foreign energy investments • domestic • national • governmental Provincial Leading Groups to Address Climate Change (under Provincial Development and Reform Commissions) • takes actions to carry out national policies and pilot programs • coordinates national policies with local social and economic development • domestic • local • governmental Foreign governmental cooperation on climate change, such as China-US, China-Germany, China-Iceland, etc. • pushes China’s  domestic agenda on climate change and clean energy development • improves capacity building  • foreign • national • governmental  Non-State Actors Roles Categories International Institutions, such as UNFCCC, IEA, G20, etc. • facilitates GHG mitigation and adaptation through financing, technology transfer and flexib le  mechanism like Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) • provides capacity building for China’s  energy governance • coordinates multilateral consensus and practical measures on climate change and energy governance among G20 member countries • international  • inter-governmental National Panel of Experts on Climate Change (established in 2007)  • provides scientific feedback to policy-makers on China’s  vulnerable eco-system • provides scientific advisories and policy-relevant suggestions on strategies, guidelines, policies, legislations & regulations, and measures for coping with climate change • domestic • national • intellectual community  24 Non-State Actors  Roles  Categories  Chinese NGOs, such as the establishment of China Civil Climate Action Network (CCAN) in 2007 • mobilizes the public through localized low-carbon projects, i.e., the “Green Commuting Network”  project mobilized the restrictions on car use and campaigned the concept of “green commuting”  during Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Shanghai Expo in 2010, and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2011.  • engages in national climate change and energy policy lobbying (mainly NGOs headquartered in Beijing) • shapes public opinion on climate change and energy conservation • counters the strong influence of emission-intensive industries on climate policy-making • provides input and recommendations for the Climate Change Law policy-making process (since 2011) • engages and cooperates with NGOs from other countries (e.g. Europe, the US) through the various global NGO networks • domestic • civil society International NGOs, such as WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam. • initiates and coordinates local environmental NGOs  to network, i.e., the “26 Degrees Campaign” during 2005, “Energy Saving 20%-citizen action” • provides capacity-building opportunities for domestic Chinese environmental groups on climate change • introduces Chinese NGOs to the international climate change negotiations and commencing work on national climate and energy policies • foreign • civil society Emission-intensive industries and companies, i.e., coal and mining  companies, oil and gas production SOEs, iron and steel plants, etc. • lobbies strongly against climate policies • lobbies against reducing fossil fuel subsidies • domestic • business community Renewable energy industry, i.e., wind and solar energy companies  • lobbies for more favorable policy support • domestic • business community               Table 4 Key actors in China’s climate governance (2007-2016)     25 So far, China has accelerated its establishment of institutions for climate governance since 200710. Among all governmental agencies, NDRC is the leading state actor in China’s climate governance. In 2007, NDRC introduced the first national programme on climate change in which climate governance was linked to China’s Sustainable Development Strategy (proposed in 1994). Since then, NDRC has been promulgating national policies that specified annual targets on climate mitigation and adaptation. In the “2013 China’s Policies and Actions on Addressing Climate Change” report, NDRC acknowledged, for the first time, the strategic importance of climate governance, and associated climate change with China’s national economic and social development. Moreover, the Deputy Director of NDRC Xie Zhenhua has been, since 2007, China’s chief climate representative in the UNFCCC negotiations. In order to strengthen the institutiona l capacity of NDRC, the Department of Climate Change Response was further established during the institutional restructuring of the State Council in 2008. In 2013, the State Council adjusted the composition and personnel of the National Leading Group for Addressing Climate Change with Premier Li Keqiang acting as the group leader. Several functional departments were also added. This adjustment not only indicates top Chinese policy-makers’ increasing attention on climate change, but also shows that climate change has been institutionally incorporated into China’s policy priorities. At the local level, emission reduction targets stipulated by the 11th FYP have been internalized in the “target-responsibility” system for the first time. This system makes environmental objectives part of the performance evaluation of political leaders (Tsang and Kolk, 2010). In addition, a total of 31 provinces have compiled GHG emission inventories and implemented annual accounting work to reduce carbon intensity by 2013. The NDRC also initiated                                                  10 Since mid-2007, the central government has regularly issued mandates to all provinces to establish special task forces to lead climate change efforts.    26 7 pilot programs11 for carbon emission trading (CET) in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hubei, Guangdong and Shenzhen in 2011. These CET pilot programs have mobilized a broad range of players, including enterprises, regulators, service providers, and investors, to participate in the experimental use of a market-based mechanism to address climate change (Song et al., 2015). In summary, China has established an extensive governance framework with the NDRC as the most powerful state actor that coordinates climate policies. At the same time, as China’s experimenta l pilot programs expand into a national market mechanism (ETS), an increasing number of state and non-state actors that also play active roles in China’s climate governance has emerged.   Domestic Development Agenda  Second, the author proposes that the domestic shift of China’s development agenda - from an energy-intensive, heavy-industry and export-driven growth model to a low-carbon and sustainab le approach - provided a strategic opportunity for Chinese policy-makers to align climate governance with China’s long-term economic development and short-term energy security concerns. As China’s most important policy documents, Five-Year-Plans (FYPs) provide centralized and integrated frameworks for the country’s economic and social development. In 2006, the 11th Five-Year-Plan (2006-2010) aimed to “reduce gross domestic product (GDP) energy intensity12 by 20 percent of the 2005 levels” by 2010. This was due to the mounting concern of energy security. In                                                  11  The 7 pilot regions (provinces and cities) have established institutions and rules for carbon trading and they officially have launched trading in 2013 and 2014. 12 Energy intensity measures the amount of energy (Total Primary Energy Supply, or TPES, in tonnes of oil equivalent, or toe) a country needs to generate a unit of gross domestic product (GDP), while energy consumption per capita represents TPES divided by the population of the country. Refer to the bibliography for original source from IEA  website.   27 2011, the 12th FYP (2011-2015) went beyond energy efficiency improvements and incorporated specific climate change targets.13  This was because domestic air pollution and climate impact affected the wellbeing of its people and damaged China’s vulnerable ecological system, which bore serious implications for the sustainability of China’s economic development. The 12th FYP listed “sustainable growth” as a national priority, and specified a target of “reducing carbon dioxide emissions intensity by 17 percent of the levels in 2010” by 2015.14 This is China’s first legally binding, domestic climate change national policy.15   Subsequently, in November 2012, the Communist Party of China (CCP) prioritized the “build ing of Ecological Civilization” as its key development strategy and wrote the concept into China’s constitution16 to increase the strategic importance of environmental governance in China’s overall economic and social development. In 2014, President Xi Jinping mandated a national energy security strategy to fundamentally change energy consumption, production, technology, and governance. This Energy Development Strategic Plan (2014-2020) aimed to create an “Energy Revolution”. In 2016, the 13th FYP (2016-2020) introduced an energy consumption cap in China’s national development agenda. The new FYP estimates that China will reach, by 2020, a 48% reduction in carbon intensity levels (based on 2005 levels). This would exceed its commitments under the Copenhagen pledge. To achieve that goal, the national emission trading system, with sectors covering power, iron and steel, chemicals, cement, paper and nonferrous metals, is                                                  13 Refer to the Appendix.  14 The State Council of China, Twelfth Five-Year-Plan, 2011.  15 Prior to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, China pledged to the international community that it will reduce 40-45 percent of its carbon intensity by 2020 (compared to 2005); however, that is not a domestically binding policy.  16 Communist Party of China, “Decision of the 18th National Congress of Communist Party of China on the Revision of Party Constitution,” 2012.   28 projected to start in 2017. The new determination of Chinese policy-makers towards sustainab le development has delivered significant results. For example, China’s coal consumption fell 3.7% in 2015, following a 2.5% drop in 2014.17  Strategic Participation in Global Climate Governance         Thirdly, the author proposes that the desire to play a leadership role in global climate governance, and to present itself as a responsible developing country, motivated its participation in global climate governance through mechanisms such as the UNFCCC, the G20 Summit and US-China bilateral dialogue. China’s endeavor to strengthen its soft power or leadership role in global environmental governance has been one of the driving forces of its recent proactive climate behavior.   In addition, China’s progressive participation in global environmental governance provides extra impetus for the strategic localization of climate change in China. On the one hand, China benefits from international cooperation on climate change through capacity building, technology transfer, and climate finance, etc. On the other hand, the Chinese government could strategically harness and convert international pressure to address climate change into legitimacy for it to overcome obstacles to its domestic reforms and facilitate China’s economic transition to a low-carbon and sustainable development model.                                                     17 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/29/china-coal-consumption-drops-again.  29   Summary This thesis argues that the Chinese government has strategically aligned the international norm of climate change with its domestic priorities of “sustainable growth” and “the building of Ecologica l Civilization”. Through efficient institutional governance and innovative policy instruments, it has successfully utilized international pressure on climate change to legitimize China’s domestic economic transformation into a “new normal” or low-carbon economy. In addition, pressure from civil society and public opinion further pushed the government to speed up climate governance.               30   Empirical Analysis: Variations in Climate and Energy Governance  This section applies the “strategic localization” model to explain the micro-variations of China’s compliance in G20 on three issue areas: 1) climate change; 2) fossil fuel subsidies; 3) clean energy technology. G20 member countries have made recurring commitments on the three issue areas to demonstrate their consensus on coordinating practical and effective policy response to address climate change. The validity of the three propositions above would be tested through the lens of China’s compliance on climate and energy issues. Comparing China’s compliance with its G20 commitments with its domestic climate and energy actions would also allow us to gain further insights on China’s climate governance.   Partial Compliance on Climate Change First of all, Table 5 shows China’s compliance record on climate change with scores of 1, -1, and 0 in 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively. As we could summarize from the commitments, G20 serves to strengthen the consensus of 20 leading economies on supporting the UNFCCC and mobilizing finance for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which indicates that G20 has emerged as one of the most efficient international platforms for systematically important countries to coordinate practical policy response to climate change.   G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2009, Pittsburgh Summit   2010, Seoul Summit    31 G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2011, Cannes Summit   2012, Los Cabos Summit “We reiterate our commitment to fight climate change and welcome the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN climate change conferences.” 1 2013, St. Petersburg Summit “We support the operationalization  of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).” -1 2014, Brisbane Summit “We reaffirm our support for mobilizing finance for adaptation … such as the Green Climate Fund.” 0 2015, Antalya Summit               Table 5 China’s  compliance with climate change in G20 (2009-2015)  Source: G20 Compliance Reports by Summit, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, 2009-2016. The empty blank represents that the issue area was not selected in the compliance reports.       This thesis has proposed that China bases its participation in international institutions like the UNFCCC and G20 on its own strategic considerations, which are focused on its domestic agendas. As the 2012 summit only required China to make a verbal commitment “to fight climate change and welcome the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN climate change conferences”, China was willing to rhetorically make this commitment. Hence, it has been actively urging developed countries to take more responsibility in combatting climate change, particular ly in climate adaptation, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building, which explains China’s score of 1 in 2012. However, the 2013 Summit’s agreement that countries will “mobilize financ ia l resources for the Green Climate Fund” and that “the Fund will receive financial inputs from developed country Parties to the Convention” was not in line with China’s view of its “differentiated responsibility” as a Non-Annex I developing country. Therefore, in this case, China did not pledge to make financial contributions to the GCF, and was correspondingly scored -1 in  32 2013. In 2014, the G20’s commitment is focused more broadly on climate finance. In this case, China did not provide financial support to the GCF; instead it pledged 3 billion USD to the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to help other developing countries combat climate change by providing financial support for capacity building and poverty reduction18. Through its actions, we could discern that China clearly seeks to build up a leadership role in international climate politics by providing funds for developing countries, particularly through China-Afr ica cooperation, which goes back as early as 2009.19  In summary, China’s partial compliance on climate change reflects its strategic participation in global climate governance. While it eschews any direct compliance with any G20 commitment that is detrimental to its own domestic and security interests, it is prepared to play a leadership role in global climate governance, particular ly among developing countries.  Partial Compliance on Fossil Fuel Subsidies Secondly, in this thesis, the author has suggested that China’s top-down governance approach enables policy-makers to devise efficient policy tools to address climate change on the one hand. On the other, it also entails backlash against policy implementation from local state and non-state actors. Table 6 shows China’s compliance record on fossil fuel subsidies in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, with scores of 0, -1, 1, 1, -1, and 0 respectively.   G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2009, Pittsburgh Summit                                                    18 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/25/us-china-joint-presidential-stateent-climate-change. 19 Refer to the Appendix for 2009 “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change”.   33 G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2010, Toronto Summit “We note with appreciation the report on energy subsidies from the IEA, OPEC, OECD and World Bank. We welcome the work of Finance and Energy Ministers in delivering  implementation strategies and timeframes, based on national circumstances, for the rationalization  and phase out over the medium term of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, taking into account vulnerable groups and their development needs.] We also encourage continued and full implementation of country specific strategies and will continue to review progress towards this commitment at upcoming summits.” 0 2010, Seoul Summit “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase-out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, with timing based on national circumstances, while  providing targeted support for the poorest.”  -1 2011, Cannes Summit “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase-out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while providing targeted support for the poorest”. 1 2012, Los Cabos Summit “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase out inefficien t  fossil fuel subsides that encourage wasteful consumption over the medium term while providing targeted support for the poorest.” 1 2013, St. Petersburg Summit   2014, Brisbane Summit “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient  fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, recognizing  the need to support the poor.” -1  34 G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2015, Antalya Summit “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase-out inefficien t  fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, over the medium term, recognising the need to support the poor.” 0            Table 6 China’s  compliance with fossil fuel subsidies in G20 (2009-2015)  Source: G20 Compliance Reports by Summit, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, 2009-2016. The empty blank represents that the issue area was not selected in the compliance reports.    The G20 summits’ commitments on fossil fuel subsidies focus on land use tax relief and the reduction of subsidies for fossil fuel producers. In the Chinese context, most fossil fuel producers are SOEs in heavy industries, such as oil and gas, iron and steel, coal and mining production, which represents a strong interest group in China. Most SOEs have administrative ranks that give them great bargaining power with other relevant governmental units (Tsang and Kolk, 2010).  Therefore, these SOEs pose great obstacles to China’s domestic structural reform and transition to a low-carbon economy, which explains its inability to agree to the G20 summit commitments. However, as we could see, China also managed to score 1 in 2011 and 2012. Following the commitment on 2011 G20 Summit, the NDRC “increased fossil fuel prices”20 and provided subsidies for people working in the industries (i.e. fishery, forestry and public transport sectors) that are most likely to be affected by price hikes of fossil fuels in 2012. Moreover, the Chinese Ministry of Finance has taken actions to establish a system of financial subsidies to support the development of renewable energy since 2012 onwards.                                                    20 According to the information from Joint Report “The Scope of Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in 2009 and a Roadmap for Phasing out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies,” which is prepared by IEA, OECD and the World Bank, increases in fossil fuel prices can be treated as fulfillment of this commitment.   35 To summarize, these alternative policy tools show that national governmental agencies, such as NDRC and Ministry of Finance, are the key actors in pushing forward the development of renewable energy, but fossil fuel SOEs present strong barriers to overcome. Overall, with full awareness of the complexity of monitoring and implementing national policies at local levels, the top Chinese leaders strategically utilize climate change as an unprecedented global force to facilitate domestic structural reform, and introduce new policy tools to support the development of renewable energy.  Full Compliance on Clean Energy Technology Thirdly, Table 7 shows that China’s full compliance on clean energy technology has been consistent from 2009 onwards. The G20 commitments focus on the technology transfer and capacity building of clean energy among G20 member countries and beyond.   G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2009, Pittsburgh Summit “[We commit to] Take steps to facilitate the diffusion or transfer of clean energy technology including by conducting joint research and building capacity.” 1 2010, Seoul Summit “We will take steps to create, as appropriate, the enabling environments that are conducive to the development and deployment of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, including policies and practices in our countries and beyond, including technical transfer and capacity building.”  1 2011, Cannes Summit “We commit to encouraging effective policies  that overcome barriers to efficiency, or otherwise spur innovation and deployment of clean and efficient energy technologies.” 1  36 G20 Summit Commitment  Compliance Score 2012, Los Cabos Summit   2013, St. Petersburg Summit “[We commit] to take steps to support the development of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies to enhance the efficiency of markets and shift towards a more sustainable energy future.” 1 2014, Brisbane Summit “G20 countries, agree to work together to:] Encourage and facilitate  the design, development, demonstration [of innovative energy technologies, including clean energy technologies.” 1 2015, Antalya Summit               Table 7 China’s  compliance with clean energy technology (2009-2015) Source: G20 Compliance Reports by Summit, G20 Research Group, University of Toronto, 2009-2016. The empty blank represents that the issue area was not selected in the compliance reports.   On the one hand, China has taken step-by-step actions to boost the development of the renewable energy industry. As early as 2005, the National People’s Congress adopted a “Renewable Energy Law” that set the goal of deriving 15% of China’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, and outlined the duties of the government, businesses and, other users in renewable energy development and utilization.21 In 2006, NDRC specified an energy target of “reducing energy intensity by 20%  of the 2000 levels by 2010” in the 11th FYP. That target was increased in the 12th FYP – to “reduce energy intensity by 16% and increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the primary energy mix to 11.4%”.22 To achieve these reduction goals, quotas have been allocated to all provinces and major SOEs via linkage to performance evaluation systems in terms of the                                                  21 http://www.npc.gov.cn/huiyi/cwh/1112/2009-12/26/content_1533216.htm. 22 Refer to the Appendix for more details of the 12th FYP.   37 promotion of local government officials and SOE leaders (Tsang and Kolk, 2010). By doing so, local governments have stronger incentives to provide support for the development of renewable energy. As a result of all the efforts, China became the world’s largest clean energy market, accounting for nearly a third of the $329 billion invested in clean energy globally in 2015.23   On the other hand, China has actively utilized the bilateral and multilateral mechanism to enhance cooperation on clean energy development. On bilateral cooperation, China has built collaborative partnerships on renewable energy with advanced economies like the US, UK, Germany, and Iceland. Moreover, China has initiated the national strategy “One Belt One Road” to further export its overcapacity in energy sector through bilateral project investment in neighboring developing countries, such as Pakistan24 and Cambodia25. On multilateral cooperation, China has taken a more proactive stance to increase energy investment in developing countries via the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund (under the UNFCCC). It has also promoted financing for clean energy development by proposing the practice of “Green Finance” into the Communiqué of G20 Hangzhou Summit in 201626.   In all, China’s full compliance on clean energy validates the “strategic localization” model. It shows that the national government agencies are the key actors that strategically link the reduction of carbon dioxide emission with the development of renewables industry through domestic                                                  23 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/67b20418-60cc-11e6-ae3f-77baadeb1c93.html. 24 On 20 April, 2015, China signed 21 agreements on energy, according to which the two countries will cooperate on gas, coal and solar energy projects to provide 16,4000 megawatts of electricity—roughly equivalent to Pakistan’s  current capacity.  25 On 12 January, 2015, the Chinese-built 338-megawatt Russei Chrum Krom River hydropower dam in Cambodia Koh Kong province started operation.  26 http://news.ifeng.com/a/20160906/49916699_0.shtml.  38 legislation and industrial policy tools, bilateral and multilateral international cooperation, in order to achieve its dual goal of energy security and sustainable economic development.  Summary To summarize, the micro-variations of China’s compliance on the three issue areas in G20 have been explained by the “strategic localization” model. China’s compliance behavior in G20 can be explained by China’s strategic participation in global climate governance. On fossil fuel subsidies, China’s top-down governance and domestic development agenda are the key explaining factors that reveal the competition among domestic state and non-state actors in China’s transition to a green and low-carbon economy. On clean energy technology, these three factors together explain China’s full compliance behavior. Thus, it is fair to conclude that China’s climate governance performance is driven by the combination of both its normative obligations as the world’s largest GHG emitter, and its overriding domestic priority of economic development. This “strategic localization” model provides a valuable perspective to discover how the Chinese governmenta l agencies have challenged the conventional wisdom of the conflict between climate change and economic growth by incorporating climate change into its “sustainable” economic pathway towards energy security and low-carbon economic development.         39 Conclusion The research presented in this thesis builds on existing theory and empirical research with respect to global and China’s climate governance. Most studies have mainly focused on the negotiat ion process and interactions among states at the international level, paying only limited attention to linkages between domestic and international politics. Thus, this research intends to open the black box of domestic politics and proposes that the important factors that determine the success or failure of a country’s response to international environmental problems (e.g. climate change governance) are to be found in domestic setting of decision making and not only in the internationa l game. Instead of viewing nations in the international arena as unitary rational actors, the author postulates that national positions and compliance behavior in international (environmenta l) institutions are formulated through the process of domestic governance and priority adjustment in which different groups of key actors compete to advance or defend their interests.   The theory of norm localization, when applied to the empirical analysis of China’s compliance with its G20 commitments, has helped to explore and explain the domestic influences of China’s climate actions. It underlines the intimate relationship between norms and rationality. The “strategic localization” model proposed by this thesis shows how Chinese government agencies have resolved the dilemma between climate change and economic development through developing renewable energy, which not only leads to energy security but also reduces GHG emissions. The empirical analysis on China’s full compliance on clean energy technology in G20 has proved that the “strategic localization” model is most efficient when the internationa l commitments are in line with China’s domestic development priorities. Conversely, China’s partial compliance on two other issues - climate change and fossil fuel subsidies - reveals that China’s  40 compliance behavior in G20 is confined by its domestic governance and development agenda. Overall, China seems to have taken a normative role in its domestic and international climate actions, but in fact China’s actions are not driven by normative diffusion. They are driven by domestic strategic interests and preferences. In this process, local actors, especially the Chinese governmental agencies have strong agency roles in strategically framing climate change as one of its national priorities, and in developing renewable energy to help reconcile the conflict between climate change and economic development.   In all, this thesis intends to provide a new perspective to understand China’s climate governance with acknowledgement of alternative explanations. To amplify the normative argument, the author suggests that future research could focus on the agency role of non-state actors, such as elites, civil society groups, multinational corporations, and examine how they have shaped the domestic climate change agenda and pressured (or otherwise) Chinese policy-makers to switch to the low-carbon economic model and pursue more proactive measures to address climate change.            41 Bibliography Journal Articles Acharya, Amitav. “How Ideas Spread: Whose Norms Matter? Norm Localization and Institutiona l Change in Asian Regionalism.” International Organization 58, no. 2 (2004): 239-275.   Battig, Michele B. and Thomas Bernauer. “National Institutions and Global Public Goods: Are Democracies More Cooperative in Climate Change Policy?” International Organization 63, no. 2 (2009): 281-308.   Bernauer, Thomas and Vally Koubi. “Effects of Political Institutions on Air Quality.” Ecologica l Economics 68, iss. 5 (2009): 1355-1365.  Bernauer, Thomas. “Climate Change Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science 16 (2013): 421-448.  Checkel, Jeffrey T. “International Norms and Domestic Politics: Bridging the Rationalist-Constructivist Divide.” European Journal of International Relations 3, no. 4 (1997): 473-495.  Checkel, Jeffrey T. “Norms, Institutions, and National Identity in Contemporary Europe.” International Studies Quarterly 43, no. 1 (1999): 83-114.  Cortell, Andrew P. and James W. Davis, Jr. “How Do International Institutions Matter? The Domestic Impact of International Rules and Norms.” International Studies Quarterly 40, no. 4 (1996): 451-478.  Cortell, Andrew P. and James W. Davis, Jr. “Understanding the Domestic Impact of Internationa l Norms: A Research Agenda.” International Studies Review 2, no. 1 (2000): 65-87.  Dai, Xinyuan. “Political Regimes and International Trade: The Democratic Difference Revisited. ” The American Political Science Review 96, no. 1 (2002): 159-165.  Dai, Xinyuan. “Why Comply? The Domestic Constituency Mechanism.” Internationa l Organization 59, no. 2 (2005): 363-398.  Finnemore, Martha. “International Organizations as Teachers of Norms: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Science Policy.” International Organizat ion 47 (1993): 565-597.  Finnemore, Martha and Kathryn Sikkink. “International Norm Dynamics and Political Change.” International Organization 52, no.4 (1998): 887-917.  Keohane, Robert O. and David G. Victor. “The Regime Complex for Climate Change.” Perspectives on Politics 9, no.1 (2011): 7-23.   42 Mathews, John A. and Hao Tan. “China’s Renewable Energy Revolution: What is Driving It?” The Asia-Pacific Journal 12, no. 3 (2014): 1-8.  Neumayer, Eric. “Do Democracies Exhibit Stronger International Environmental Commitment? A Cross-Country Analysis.” Journal of Peace Research 39, no. 2 (2002): 139-164.   Simon, Beth. “Treaty Compliance and Violation.” Annual Review of Political Science 13 (2010): 273-296.  Song, Ranping, Wenjuan Dong, Jingjing Zhu, Xiaofan Zhao, and Yufei Wang. “Assessing Implementation of China’s Climate Policies in the 12th 5-Year Period.” Working paper for World Resource Institute, September, 2015.  Schroeder, Miriam. “Varieties of Carbon Governance: Utilizing the Clean Development Mechanism for Chinese Priorities,” The Journal of Environment & Development 18 (2009): 371-394.  Spilker, Gabriele. “Helpful Organizations: Membership in Inter-Governmental Organizations and Environmental Quality in Developing Countries.” British Journal of Political Science 42 (2012): 345-370.   Sprinz, Detlef and Tapani Vaahtoranta. “The Interest-Based Explanation of Internationa l Environmental Policy.” International Organization 48, no.1 (1994): 77-105.  Stein, Jana Von. “The International Law and Politics of Climate Change: Ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on the Kyoto Protocol.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 52, no. 2(2008): 243-268.   Books  Dai, Xinyuan. International Institutions and National Policies. Cambridge University Press, 2007.  Harrison, Kathryn and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom, ed. Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010.  Held, David, Charles Roger and Eva-Maria Nag, ed. Climate Governance in The Developing World. Polity Press, 2013.  Schreurs, Miranda and Elizabeth C. Economy, ed. The Internationalization of Environmenta l Protection. Cambridge University Press, 1997.      43 Governmental Documents The Communist Party of China, “Decision of the 18th National Congress of Communist Party of China on the Revision of Party Constitution,” The Communist Party of China. 2012.  The State Council of China. 11th 5-Year-Plan for National Economic and Social Development. 2006. The State Council, Beijing.  The State Council of China. 12th 5-Year-Plan for National Economic and Social Development. 2011. The State Council, Beijing.  The White House. U.S.-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change. September 25, 2015.    Research Reports  G20 Research Group. Reference Manual for Summit Commitment and Compliance Coding.  University of Toronto, updated on July 22, 2014.  G20 Research Group. 2009 Pittsburgh G20 Sum.mit Compliance Report on Energy and Climate Change. University of Toronto, 26 June, 2010.  G20 Research Group. 2010 Seoul G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, November 6, 2011.   G20 Research Group. 2010 Toronto G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, November 14, 2011.  G20 Research Group. 2011 Cannes G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, June 16, 2012.  G20 Research Group. 2012 Los Cabos G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, September 4, 2013.  G20 Research Group. 2013 St. Petersburg G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, November 15, 2014.  G20 Research Group. 2014 Brisbane G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, November 14, 2015.  G20 Research Group. 2015 Antalya G20 Summit Final Compliance Report. University of Toronto, September 3, 2016  44  IPCC. Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 2014.  Schroeder, Patrick. “Civil Climate Change Activism in China-More than Meets the Eye.” German Asia Foundation, November 2011.  UNFCCC. UNFCCC National GHG Inventory Data for the Period 1990-2012. UNFCCC, 2012.   Website  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/dec/20/copenhagen-climate-summit-china-reaction.  https://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/graphics/2014-08-19-energy-consumption-per-capita-and-energy-intensity.html.   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/29/china-coal-consumption-drops-again.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/25/us-china-joint-presidential-stateent-climate-change.  http://www.npc.gov.cn/huiyi/cwh/1112/2009-12/26/content_1533216.htm.  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/67b20418-60cc-11e6-ae3f-77baadeb1c93.html.   http://news.ifeng.com/a/20160906/49916699_0.shtml.           45  Appendix: National Policies on Climate Change (2007-2015, China) Time Document Key Actions Institution 2007 National Programme on Climate Change • the first national programme on climate change with binding targets for 2010  • 20% energy intensity reduction by 2010 (compared with 2005) • 10% non-fossil fuel in primary energy mix by 2010 • addresses climate change in the context of China’s  Sustainable Development Strategy (proposed in 1994) • insists the “common but differentiated” principle • requires all provincial governments set up the Leading Groups on Climate Change which are responsible for taking actions in response to climate change at local level  • four provincial governments (Hubei, Jilin, Shanxi and Yunnan) propose provincial programs to address climate change NDRC 2008 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • reiterates the principles and climate targets of 2007 National Programme on Climate Change • layouts specific mitigation and adaptation policies • requires all levels of governments to cope with climate change through industrial policies, finance and taxation policies, investment policies  State Council 2009 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • China’s  energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped accumulatively  by 10.1% from 2006 to 2008 • promulgates the Circular Economy Promotion Law in 2008 • new policies to incentivize the development of the service industry • new adjustment and reinvigoration plans featured with the phase-out of backward production capacity, advancement of technological levels, energy conservation and pollution reduction for 10 major industries • issues the market access standards for energy intensive industries and adjust tariffs and tax rebate to curtail the export of the energy-, pollutants emissions- and resource-intensive products • introduces a series of financial and tax preferential policies to promote development of renewable energy • launches demonstrative and trial agricultural development projects with  5 million dollars granted by Special Climate Change Fund • publishes the Action Plan of the Forestry Industry for Addressing Climate Change • deepens China-Africa cooperation and increase aid to Africa on climate  change NDRC  46 Time Document Key Actions Institution 2011 12th FYP • integrates climate change measures into the country’s  mid-term and long-term plans for economic and social development • establishes the policy orientation of promoting green and low-carbon  development • sets binding targets for 2015: increase forest coverage to 21.66%, reduce energy intensity by 16%, reduce carbon dioxide emission intensity by 17%, increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the primary energy mix to 11.4% (all compared to 2010) • establishes a carbon emissions trade (CET) market with 7 pilot regions (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hubei and Chongqing) • Comprehensive Work Scheme of Energy Saving and Emission  Reduction for the 12th FYP • Work Scheme of Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the 12th  FYP National People’s  Congress (NPC), the State Council  2011 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • optimizes industrial structure • promotes energy conservation • develops low-carbon energy • controls non-energy-related GHG emission • increases carbon sink • promotes low-carbon development in localities NDRC 2012 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • establishes a voluntary carbon emission trading (CET) system  • conducts carbon emission trading (CET) pilot programs • starts trials of low-carbon industry park, communities and commerce to define low-carbon development modes and policies suited to China’s  actual conditions • starts trials of low-carbon products  • selects cities to pilot low-carbon transport systems  • carries out green and low-carbon pilot and demonstration projects in key small towns • gradually establishes statistical and accounting systems for GHG Emissions • proactively participates in the Durban conference negotiations  • states China’s  basic positions and stand for the upcoming Doha 2012 UN Climate Change Conference • promotes South-South cooperation on climate change and Clean  Development Mechanism (CDM) projects NDRC  47 Time Document Key Actions Institution 2013 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • acknowledges that the strategic position of addressing climate change has been remarkably raised in both national economic and social development • improves management systems and working mechanisms (several functional departments were added to the National Leading Group for Addressing Climate Change) • builds a target responsibility system for carbon intensity reduction to assess the completion of GHG emission control target undertaken at the provincial level in 2012 • carries out major strategic studies for addressing climate change  • strengthens plan formulation for addressing climate change at the provincial level • promotes legislation on climate change • improves GHG emissions accounting capabilities at the provincial level • the central govt takes the lead in practicing a “low-carbon life” (e.g. “eight-point” regulation within the party adopted in 2012) NDRC  2013 National Climate Change Adaptation Plan • the first national strategic plan for adapting climate change by 2020 • integrates climate change adaptation into China’s  economic and social development under the framework of 12th FYP • provides guidance for policy-making and institution building in climate  change adaptation (e.g. strengthen the support of finance and taxation policy, technology and international cooperation) NDRC, MOF, Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), etc. (9 governmental departments) Sept. 2014 National Plan on Climate Change (2014-2020) • sets mid-term goals for climate policies • provides guidance in five areas: GHG emissions control, low-carbon  pilots, climate change adaptation, capacity building, and international cooperation • proposes a new forest restoration target • mandates the control of industrial emissions • addresses climate change in sectors (building, transport, etc.) NDRC Nov. 2014 China’s  Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change • controls total coal consumption (e.g. in March 2014, the NDRC, the National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection issued the Work Plan on Enhancing Prevention and Treatment of Air Pollution in Energy Industry, requiring the energy industry to reduce the proportion of coal and formulate mid- and long-term targets on the controlling of national coal consumption) • acknowledges that a binding “cap and trade” system based on the pilot CET provinces and cities has emerged which covers certain economic  sectors and has promoted market-based carbon pricing (e.g. by Oct. 2014, the total trading volume of carbon dioxide in the carbon emissions trading markets of 7 pilot provinces and cities reached 13.75 million  tons of CO2 and the turnover was more than 500 million yuan) • proactive participation in the international negotiation under the UNFCCC NDRC  48 Time Document Key Actions Institution June 2015 Enhanced Actions on Climate Change: China’s  Intended Nationally Determined Contributions  • identifies transforming the economic development pattern, constructing ecological civilization and holding to a green, low-carbon and recycled development path as its policy orientation • reduces carbon intensity by 60-65 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 • increases the proportion of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030 • increases forest carbon stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters from 2005 levels by 2030 NDRC   

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.24.1-0319161/manifest

Comment

Related Items