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.
- 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).
- 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].
- Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, 31 August 2001, to prevent land desertification, rehabilitate desertified land, maintain eco-safety, and promote sustainable economic and social development [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].
- Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) (2015) [English]
- Initial National Communication on Climate Change (2004) [English] [Chinese]
- Second National Communication on Climate Change (2012) [English]
- The 12th Five-Year Plan for the Development of National Economy and Society, 12 March 2011, to create more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth.
- China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change— The Progress Report
- Resolution of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Making Active Responses to Climate Change
- The Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading in China
- The Work Plan for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control during the 12th Five-Year Plan Period
- EPA – China Environmental Law Initiative: Links to a variety of materials on China and climate change complied by EPA Office of General Counsel.
- China Climate Change Info-Net: This website is the official government platform for climate change information in China. It is maintained by the National Leading Committee on Climate Change, which is led by Premier Wen Jiabao and includes twenty-four members from ministries and government sectors.
- Ministry Ecology and Environment: This website, maintained by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, contains China’s environmental policies, laws, and regulations, including activities and developments relating to climate change.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change: The Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s webpage on Chinese climate change issues includes publications and other useful links.
- Shaping China’s Climate Finance Policy
- Climate Action Tracker: China Profile (2018)
- Climate & Energy Policy in the People’s Republic of China
- Chinese Climate Change Network (website set up to improve the communication among the climate scientific community and better inform China’s decision-maker on climate change policy.)
- Department of Addressing Climate Change
- Energy and Climate Goals of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan
- China Strategy and Action on Climate Change (presentation)
- Jonathan B. Wiener, Climate Change Policy, and Policy Change in China, 55 UCLA Law Review 1805-1826 (2008). Available at:
- Sustainable Development and Climate Policy and Law in China
- Yang Zhang and Yongnian Zheng, “New Development in China’s Climate Change Policy” (December 2007). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series. Working Paper 73.
- China’s Climate-Change Policy 1988-2011: From Zero to Hero?
- He, Xiangbai, China’s Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework on Climate Change Adaptation: Big Progress? (May 21, 2013). Available at SSRN
- China Environmental Performance Index
- CCS in China: Toward and Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulatory Framework, World Resources Institutes.
- Cao, M. (2013). Greenhouse gas emission reduction climate change legislation. Environmental Policy and Law, 43(1), 52-58.
- China’s Carbon Emission Trading: An Overview of Current Development
- Deng Haifeng et al., China, in CLIMATE CHANGE LIABILITY, 112-138 (Richard Lord et al. eds., Cambridge University Press 2011).
- Steve Wolfson, Gathering Momentum for U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate Change, Tsinghua University Law Journal (July 2009)
- China, the United States, and the Climate Change Challenge (World Resources Institute)
- Leading the Way Towards Climate Solutions for China (Natural Resources Defense Council)
- From Crisis to Opportunity: How China is addressing climate change and positioning itself to be a leader in clean energy (Natural Resources Defense Council)
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Asia Society, Common Challenge, Collaborative Response: A Roadmap for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change (February 2009).
- Natural Resources Defense Council, Strengthening US-China Climate Change and Energy Engagement- Recommendations for Leaders and Policymakers in the US and China (January 2009).
- Kenneth G. Lieberthal & David B. Sandalow, Foreign Policy Overcoming Obstacles to U.S.-China Cooperation on Climate Change, Brookings Institute (January 2009).
- William Chandler, Breaking the Suicide Pact: U.S.–China Cooperation on Climate Change Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Policy Brief No.57 (March 2008).
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, An Interdisciplinary MIT Study. The Future of Coal (2007).
- Craig Hart et al., East Asia Clean Development Mechanism: Engaging East Asian Countries in Sustainable Development and Climate Regulation Through the CDM, 20 Geo Int’ Envtl. L. Rev. 645 (2008).
- Tseming Yang, The Implementation Challenge of Mitigating China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 20 Geo. Int’l Envtl. L. Rev. 681 (2008).
- Patricia Ross McCubbin, China and Climate Change: Domestic Environmental Needs, Differentiated International Responsibilities, and Rule of Law Weaknesses, 3 Envt’l & Energy L. & Pol’y J. 200 (2008).
- Wang, T. and J. Watson, China’s Energy Transition – Pathways to Low Carbon Development, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; Sussex Energy Group, the University of Sussex (2009).
- China’s National Climate Change Programme, Prepared under the Auspices of National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China (2007).
- Li Junfeng et al., China Wind Power Report, China Environmental Science Press (2007).
- Justin Blood, Energy Production Pollution in China-The Effectiveness of Two Forms of Chinese Governmental Response to the Problem, 19 Colo. J. Int’l Envtl. L. & Pol’y 155 (2008).
- Nathan Borgford-Parnell, China’s Renewable Energy Law: Not Enough to Overcome China’s Energy and Environmental Problems, 8 Sustainable Dev. L. & Pol’y 45 (2008).
- Wang Mingyuan, Issues Related to the Implementation of China’s Energy Law: Analysis of the Energy Conservation Law and the Renewable Energy Law as Examples, 8 Vt. J. Envtl. L. 225 (2007).
- Roger K. Raufer, The New Power Generation: Environmental Law and Electricity Innovation: Colloquium Article: Sustainable Urban Energy Systems in China, 15 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 161 (2007).
- William L. Andreen, Institute for International Law and Public Policy: 2004 U.S.-China Environmental Law and Policy Roundtable: Commentary on Government Incentives to Promote Renewable Energy in the United States by Professor Wang Mingyuan, 24 Temp. J. Sci. Tech. & Envtl. L. 351 (2005).
- W. Xi, The developing environmental law and policy of the People’s Republic of China : an introduction and appraisal (1992) 5 GIELR 25.
- Y. Xing, W. Xi, CDM in China, in K. Kheng-Lian et al (eds.), Crucial Issues in Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol : Asia and the World, World Scientific (2010), pp. 127-151.
Summaries of legislation compiled from Terry Townsend et al., The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study (3d ed. 2013).
Last updated: April 23, 2014