Publication: Pathways Towards a Just Transition to Carbon Neutrality in China

China plans to become climate-neutral by 2060. A number of case studies showcase the social implications of this goal.

In September 2021, China's President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly that his country would peak its emissions by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2060. To achieve this goal, local governments across China have rolled out many different energy transformation policies. In collaboration with FES Shanghai, a research team from Duke University in Kunshan has analysed them.

The team around Dr. Coraline Goron and Dr. Zhang Junjie examined four different cases of energy transformation policies from four different regions in China, drawing different conclusions from each of them. Generally, the study suggests the following:

First, mainstream fairness considerations across all low-carbon transition policy design and implementation processes.

Second, adopt an inclusive assessment system of low-carbon projects that integrates social outcomes alongside environmental performance.

Third, ensure the provision of adequate, stable, and   equitable compensation mechanisms for the social groups and communities which are negatively affected by energy transition policies and projects.

A successful energy transition must be socially balanced; only then can it gain the necessary acceptance in society. We hope this study is providing some experience of what is necessary to achieve a Just Transition.

Pathways towards a just transition to carbon neutrality in China

Goron, Coraline; Zhang, Junjie

Pathways towards a just transition to carbon neutrality in China

Shanghai, 2023

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