China's Energy Policy from National and International Perspectives—The Energy Revolution and One Belt One Road Initiative Test

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Before 2000, roughly 96% of China’s energy demands were met domestically. Since 2001, however, this position of near self-reliance has changed. With steadily increasing demands, China’s need for foreign energy has grown. Today, China is the world’s biggest energy consumer and emitter of greenhouse gases. Building upon the first volume, which examined China’s energy plans, this book will examine the strategies China has taken to meet its burgeoning energy demands, continue its fast-paced economic growth and also address the mounting concerns about environmental welfare and the true cost of China’s development. With new chapters addressing international agreements, the so-called “China energy threat” and the Belt and Road Initiative, this volume will continue to discuss and interpret both domestic policies and China’s international role.
Pub. Date
Sep 1, 2016
284 pages
152 x 229 mm
We live in a world of turmoil. Acid rain, deforestation, earthquakes and tsunamis are just some of the many natural catastrophes that have become part of our daily lives. It is believed that at least some of these events are due to climate change. Whether wholly responsible or not, efforts are being made to try and combat climate change. In 2015, the whole world came together in Paris for COP21 (the United Nations Conference on Climate Change) to try to find a way to work together to counter these issues. This convocation alone was a mighty accomplishment, regardless of what else came out of it. Despite the great differences between many of the attending nations, leaders from every corner of the world gathered to address issues of high complexity and vital importance. As one of the biggest economies in the world, China participated to do its part in working towards a solution.

More willing than ever before to act as a responsible stakeholder, China is becoming a key and active contributor in international treaty arrangements. It is not surprising, therefore, that closer relations between the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) were one of the byproducts of the Copenhagen Summit. Not only on the international scene, but in its national policy also, China is constantly improving. This raises its own challenges. With a rapidly growing economy and the need to maintain these growth rates, China has to balance its green efforts in a sustainable way. This high-wire balancing act has led to a unique Chinese way of action, which caters to China’s green efforts as well as economic stability.

China has made tremendous efforts to grow its clean energy sector and has had significant success in reaching its reduction targets and increasing its commitment to R&D projects in this area. Consequently, today, Chinese enterprises are the world’s dominant players in hydropower, and the largest installers of wind power and solar energy plants. Nevertheless, China is still a developing nation which needs the support of the international community to continue its progression to a low-carbon economy. The fact is that China is faced with a challenging future, in which it will become ever harder to strike a balance between the rapidly increasing demand for energy, the responsibility to preserve environmental limits and the need to develop its economy to meet its people’s expanding demands.

In the first months of 2013, Beijing suffered from a very serious pollution haze. Even the delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March criticized the government over the city’s poor air and water quality, also expressing deep-felt concern about the lack of information on environmental issues. From top-down and bottom-up, people asked the government to take measures to prevent this happening again. In order to make significant changes, China has established a very efficient and multilayered plan to deal with the economy’s growing energy demands. Not only does the government introduce and monitor requirements for energy efficiency, but it also closes facilities that cannot reach those requirements and gives financial incentives to companies to be more energy efficient. Information is distributed at all levels of government and among the general public on these issues, and pilot projects have been initiated to look for new solutions.

This volume endeavors to continue to discuss China’s energy policies in order to facilitate the study of anyone who is interested in China’s energy and environmental issues, filling the gap between the information provided by academics, energy industrial parishioners, policy makers and IR/IPE scholars.

In addition, following the publication of our book China Energy Policy in National and International Perspective: A Study Fore-and-Aft 18th National Congress in 2014, we aim to show the most important issues and policies currently occurring in Chinese energy, placing them in both a domestic and international context, from which we can offer a better understanding of China’s energy policies. Furthermore, as energy cooperation is a priority in China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative, this volume will also discuss this initiative and the Chinese energy revolution, what the implications of the energy revolution are and the nature of the energy relationship between China and Russia, the latter being a core area in China’s foreign energy cooperation under the OBOR framework.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The Energy System and Policies before the Twelfth Five-Year Plan
Chapter 3 Effects of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan Energy Policy
Chapter 4 China’s Energy Evolution and Revolution
Chapter 5 The Evolution of China’s Foreign Energy Policy Chapter 6 Energy Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
Qinhua XU is a professor at the School of International Studies of the Renmin University of China. She is also the director of the Center for International Energy and Environment Strategy Studies of the University. She has been working for more than twenty years in various academic and research institutions in Asia, Europe and the United States. William CHUNG is associate professor of Management Sciences at City University of Hong Kong. He earned his PhD in Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His personal research interests mainly focus on developing mathematical methodologies for energy-environmental policy problems, like large-scale equilibrium models, benchmarking methods for the energy consumption performance of buildings, and decomposition analysis of energy intensity.