FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2015 .095

Making China the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: Key Challenges and Responses

Authors: ZhongXiang Zhang
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development  
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Keywords: Low-Carbon Economy, Carbon Emissions Peaks, Coal Consumption, Carbon Pricing, Energy Prices, Resource Tax Reform, Renewable Energy, China
JEL n.: H23, P28, Q42, Q43, Q48, Q53, Q54, Q58


China has realized that for its own sake and from the international community’s perspective, it cannot afford to continue along the conventional path of encouraging economic growth at the expense of the environment. Accordingly, the country has placed ecological goals at the same level of priority as policies on economic, political, cultural and social development. Specifically, to meet the grand goal involves not only capping China’s nationwide coal consumption to let it peak before 2020 and carbon emissions peak around 2030, but also putting in place a variety of flagship programs and initiatives, prices and policies. This paper argues that the 2030 carbon emissions peak goal is ambitious but achievable and concludes by arguing why China’s anti-pollution outcomes this time might be different from the previous ones.


Suggested citation: Zhang, Z., (2015), 'Making China the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy: Key Challenges and Responses', Nota di Lavoro 95.2015, Milan, Italy: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

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