This article demonstrates that prospects for emission reduction are not realistic under the current policy environment, and China is unlikely to take on commitments in the near future. The major determinants of and actors involved in China’s climate change policy are discussed, relating these to China’s stance in global climate change negotiations. Energy is seen as the key to economic development and is one of the main causes for China’s unwillingness to take on emission reduction commitments. Vulnerability to climate change is an emerging issue in China, and could contribute to elevating the climate change issue on China’s domestic agenda in the future. Global climate change is still seen as a remote matter by the country’s policy makers, and remains a foreign-policy issue. International pressure has not been able to change Beijing’s stance of no commitments, although China is now an active participant in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which has become a way to apply an international mechanism on domestic problems and one of the channels that China itself prefers to use in its climate-change efforts.


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pp. 155-191
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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