China’s Environment: Governance and Its Challenges

by Dali Yang
March 22, 2010


Dali Yang

At December’s Copenhagen Summit, the Chinese delegation rejected legally binding emissions targets. China’s environment is increasingly a global concern, as it currently emits 25% of the world’s carbon emissions – equal the United States. Will China follow in the footsteps of other developed countries, with initial increased pollution followed by limits set by regulation? Or could China be an exception, both because of its sheer size and the particular features of the Chinese political system? In this talk, Dali Yang will discuss China’s ability to regulate its environment and considers its efforts thus far – from its first conference on environmental protection in 1973 to the establishment of a ministry for the environment in 2008 and beyond.


Dali L. Yang is Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of The Center for East Asian Studies. His research interests are political institutions and political economy, with special reference to China. Among his many scholarly articles and books are Remaking the Chinese Leviathan: Market Transition and the Politics of Governance in China and Calamity and Reform in China: State, Rural Society and Institutional Change Since the Great Leap Famine. An engineering graduate from Beijing Science and Technology University, Yang received his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University. He joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1992.


Dr. Leigh Raymond, Associate Director of Purdue Climate Change Research Center at Purdue University served as respondent.