China Country Profile (World Bank)

Status under International Climate Change Law

  • UNFCCC: signature (11 June 1992), ratification (5 Jan 1993) and entry into force (21 March 1994)
  • KP: signature (29 May 1998), approval (30 Aug 2002), and entry into force (16 February 2005)
    • Quantified emission limitation or reduction commitment: N/A
  • Vienna Convention:
  • Montreal Protocol: accession (14 Jun 1991)
  • LRTAP: N/A
  • Energy Charter:
  • Energy Efficiency Protocol:
  • Espoo Convention: N/A
  • 2030 Commitment: Peak carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 with best efforts to peak early; lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% from 2005 levels; increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%; and increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters from 2005 levels.
    • INDC summary – includes LULUCF and gases covered (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015)
    • INDC summary – includes adaptation and conditions for implementation (Climate Policy Observer 2016)

Laws on Climate Change


  • National Climate Change Programme, 4 June 2007, to address climate change through five specific issues: GHG mitigation, adaptation, climate change science and technology, public awareness on climate change, and institutions and mechanisms.
  • Meteorology Law, 31 October, 1999, to develop and standardize meteorological work and also provide meteorological services to support economic development, national defense and social development.
  • Law on Addressing Climate Change (under discussion as of 18 March 2012).

Air Protection

  • Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, 29 April 2000, to prevent air pollution, protect and improve life and ecology environment, ensure public health and facilitate economic and social sustainable development [English, Chinese].


  • Renewable Energy Law, 28 February 2005, to facilitate the development and use of renewable energy, increase energy supply, improve energy structure, ensure energy security and protect the environment to fulfill social sustainable development.
  • Energy Conservation Law, 28 October 2007, to promote energy saving, increase energy efficiency, protect and improve the environment and facilitate comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development [English, Chinese].
  • Coal Law, 29 August 1996, to rationally develop, utilize and protect coal resources.
  • Electric Power Law, 28 December 1995, to promote the development of the electric power industry.

Forests and Land use

  • Forestry Law, 20 September 1984 (amended 29 April 2008), to protect, cultivate, rationally exploit forest resources, accelerate territorial afforestation and make use of forests in water storage and soil conservation, climate regulation, environmental improvement and supply of forest products [English, Chinese].
  • Land Administration Law, 25 June 1986, (amended 29 December 1988 and 29 August 1998), to strengthen the administration of land, safeguard the socialist public ownership of land, protect and develop land resources in a sustainable manner [English, Chinese].

Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Environmental Protection Law, 26 December 1989, to protect and improve life and ecology environment, ensure public health and promote the development of modernization construction [English, Chinese].


  • Circular Economy Promotion Law, 29 August 2008, to facilitate circular economy development, increase resource use efficiency, protect and improve environment and fulfill sustainable development.
  • Cleaner Production Promotion Law, 29 June 2002, to promote cleaner production, increase resource use efficiency, reduce and avoid the production of pollution, protect and improve the environment, ensure public health, and facilitate economic and social sustainable development [English, Chinese].

Government Documents and Resources

  • Energy Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission (Chinese language-only site): This website is maintained by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission’s Energy Bureau and contains China’s energy laws and regulations. The Energy Bureau is tasked, among other things, with the administrative management of China’s oil, gas, coal, and electric power industry; guidance of local energy development and construction; management of national petroleum reserves; and management of foreign energy cooperation and coordination. The site is currently Chinese language only; an English version is under construction.

Additional Resources

  • Institute for Environment and Development (IED): IED has an area of focus on climate change of China that keeps two goals in mind: interpreting climate change issues from a Chinese perspective, and engaging in research of green technology markets.
  • World Resource Institute, SD-PAMs database
  • ChinaDialogue: This bilingual blog includes news and analysis on global environmental issues with a special focus on China. It is maintained by an international editorial advisory board based in London, Beijing, and San Francisco.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council in China: This website contains information about NRDC’s work with Chinese government agencies, research institutes, lawyers, environmental groups, energy companies and multinational corporations to help China confront environment and climate change issues.

Summaries of legislation compiled from Terry Townsend et al., The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study (3d ed. 2013).

Last updated: April 23, 2014