Climate Change Politics in an Authoritarian State: The Ambivalent Case of China

Miranda A. Schreurs

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Climate Change Politics in an Authoritarian State: The Ambivalent Case of China

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Comparative Politics


Show Summary Details


This article begins with an overview of China's energy mix and the country's growing contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. It considers how China's leaders have used China's status as the world's second largest economy to demand greater voice in the international climate negotiations, but also exploited its status as a transition economy with millions who still live at various levels of poverty to resist international demands that China take on binding climate mitigation goals. This article then discusses steps that have been taken in China to strengthen institutional capacity and plans, laws, and programs that have been introduced to combat climate change, develop renewable energies, and improve energy efficiency. It also considers the extent to which Chinese authorities are permitting critical voices, and specifically environmental groups, to form and be active. Furthermore, this article considers whether China is developing a new form of environmental authoritarianism.

Keywords: climate change politics; authoritarian state; global greenhouse gas emission; energy mix; environmental authoritarianism

Article.  6630 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.