Market-based Climate Policy in China? The Case of Emissions Trading Systems


Professor Erik Baark
Visiting Research Professor, East Asian Institute, NUS and
Emeritus Professor, Division of Social Science and the Division of Environment,
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Friday, 6 December 2019, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm


EAI Conference Room
NUS Bukit Timah Campus
469A Bukit Timah Road
Tower Block #06-01
Singapore 259770


China has become a key actor on climate change – it is now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses while, at the same time, being a supporter of renewable energy and the Paris Agreement of 2015. After more than a decade, the Chinese leadership has strengthened its efforts to pursue climate policy options to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gasses, including policy instruments such as emissions trading system (ETS) – or “Cap-and-Trade”– that should facilitate least cost compliance with climate policy targets through carbon pricing. This seminar will discuss the background and political economy of China’s seven regional ETS pilot schemes launched since 2013 and the efforts to introduce a national ETS in 2020, initially targeting the electric power utilities sector. The speaker will attempt to answer these questions: What sort of contradictions exist in introducing market-based policies in sectors dominated by state regulation? How effective will such policies be in reducing emissions and promoting low-carbon technology innovation?

About the Speaker:

Prof Erik Baark is Visiting Research Professor at the East Asian Institute, NUS, and Emeritus Professor at the Division of Social Science and the Division of Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received a PhD from the University of Lund (1986) and a Dr.phil. degree from the University of Copenhagen (1998). His primary research interests are related to innovation systems and science and technology policy in China and other East Asian countries. His research on China includes analysis of information systems and IT development and high technology entrepreneurship during recent policy reforms. He has also published extensively on innovation in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. Prof Baark has numerous publications, including Lightning Wires: Telegraphs and China’s Technological Modernization 1860-1890 (Greenwood Press, 1997), and articles in leading international area studies journals such as The China Quarterly and innovation research journals such as Research Policy and the International Journal of Technology Management.

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