Climate change is an immensely challenging policy problem. There are many reasons.

  • First, climate change is caused by invisible, odorless gases. Human beings depend on our senses for threat detection. Our vision helps us avoid an object hurtling our way. Our smell and taste help us avoid spoiled food. We are less skilled at responding to threats that may be difficult to see, hear, touch, smell or taste.

  • Second, climate change is happening at a pace that alarms many scientists, but can seem slow in the course of day-to-day life. Scientists warn that the climate is changing at a pace unprecedented in human history.1 But from day to day, week to week and even year to year, changes can be hard to detect.

  • Third, many impacts of climate change can appear to be the result of other causes. Climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms, floods, droughts, wildfires and heat waves.2 Yet all these happen in the absence of climate change as well. It can be easy to dismiss the role of climate change in causing or intensifying such events.

  • Fourth, many solutions to climate change implicate the interests of powerful incumbents. Many solutions to climate change involve changes to ways some powerful interests have operated for years. Resistance is often strong.

  • Finally, climate change requires collective action to abate. Climate change is caused by billions of discrete actions across the globe. No group, industry, city, state, province or country can solve the problem on its own. Solutions require cooperation, often in ways that are exceedingly difficult to agree on and implement.

These factors combine to make climate change one of the most challenging problems facing any government.3

At the same time, climate change poses huge threats. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns with “high confidence” of risks, including:

  • “extreme weather events leading to breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services such as electricity, water supply, and health and emergency services,”

  • “drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes,”

  • “breakdown of food systems,”

  • “death, injury, ill-health, or disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones,”

  • “severe ill-health and disrupted livelihoods for large urban populations,”

  • “loss of marine and coastal ecosystems,” and

  • “loss of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems.”4

Against that backdrop, how can we best understand the Chinese government’s climate policies? How is the world’s largest current emitter of heat-trapping gases responding to the immensely challenging yet hugely important problem of climate change?


Chinese Climate Policy: An Assessment

Based on the review of Chinese climate policies in this Guide, I offer five observations:

First, the Chinese government is taking significant steps to address climate change.

These include the following:

Cutting Coal, Scaling Up Low-Carbon Alternatives. The Chinese government is deeply committed to cutting coal use and deploying low-carbon alternatives. China’s policies for accomplishing those goals include:

  • Five-Year Plan targets for limiting coal use and deploying solar power, wind power, nuclear power and natural gas

  • Five-Year Plan targets for improving energy efficiency in the industrial and power sectors

  • Many specific measures to help achieve those targets, including incentives and mandates for the conversion of coal heating to natural gas, subsidies for renewable energy and nuclear power, coal plant efficiency standards, green finance programs, and more5

These policies have delivered results:

  • Coal consumption has fallen 3%–4% since its peak in 2013, even as the Chinese economy has grown roughly 40% during the same period.6

  • In 2017, China led the world in deployment of wind and hydro power—and installed more solar panels than the rest of the world combined.7

  • In 2017, consumption of natural gas (which has half the carbon emissions per unit of energy as coal) increased by roughly 15% --twice the rate of economic growth.8

  • Roughly one-third of the nuclear plants under construction in the world are in China.9

Perhaps most important from a climate change standpoint, as the Chinese economy grew by roughly 40% in the past five years, Chinese CO2 emissions grew in the range of 0%–3%. For three of those years (2014, 2015 and 2016), according to several estimates, CO2 emissions fell.10

Several factors contributed to these emissions trends, including a shift in economic activity from heavy manufacturing to services. However, the transition from coal to lower-carbon fuels—driven mostly by government policies—appears to have played a central role. A recent analysis of Chinese CO2 emissions from 2013 to 2016 noted:

“Importantly, the reduction in coal consumption occurred despite continued growth of total energy consumption...As coal use decreased, rising energy demand was met by the rapid growth of renewable and nuclear energy, which increased at an average annual rate of...11%.”11

Similarly, the IEA attributes the partial decoupling of Chinese economic and emissions growth in 2017 to “continued renewables deployment and faster coal-to-gas switching.”12

Carbon Pricing. The Chinese government is committed to putting a price on domestic carbon emissions. (Outside Europe, only one other national government—Canada’s—is committed to doing so.) Seven pilot emissions trading programs for carbon dioxide have been operating since 2013. Based in part on lessons from those pilots, a nationwide emissions trading program for carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector was launched at the end of 2017. Work is underway to extend this program to other sectors.

China’s carbon emissions trading program is still young, with basic elements under development. There are important questions about whether administrative machinery can be developed to run the program adequately. But the program reflects a commitment to put a price on carbon emissions and has the potential to be an important tool for limiting Chinese emissions.13

Other Policies. The Chinese government has adopted dozens of other policies that reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. These include policies to:

  • improve industrial efficiency;

  • improve appliance efficiency;

  • improve building efficiency;

  • improve vehicle fuel efficiency;

  • encourage urban planners to develop mass transit;

  • accelerate destruction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a super pollutant used in refrigeration and air conditioning;

  • develop HFC alternatives;

  • conserve forests; and

  • plant trees on a mass scale.14

2030 Peaking Goal. The Chinese government’s highest-profile climate change goal is “to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030, making best efforts to peak early.”15 Some experts have debated: How ambitious is that goal?

In one respect, the 2030 peaking goal is not especially ambitious. Many forecasts project that Chinese carbon dioxide emissions are likely to peak several years before 2030. Some forecasts project peaking could occur as early as the first part of the next decade. The 2030 peaking pledge is not a “stretch goal.”16

On the other hand, these forecasts reflect China’s climate policies described in this Guide and assume continued implementation of those policies. The timing of China’s CO2 emissions peak will be the result of an extensive set of climate policies, among other factors.

Furthermore, the peaking of China’s carbon dioxide emissions will occur when China’s GDP per capita is projected to be in the range of $20,000–$26,000 (depending on when in the 2020s peaking occurs, as well as Chinese economic growth trajectories). By contrast, the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions for the United States happened when GDP per capita was roughly $42,000 per capita (2005), for Japan when GDP per capita was roughly $37,000 per capita (2007) and for OECD countries as a whole when GDP per capita was roughly $31,000 (2007). (All figures are in PPP 2005$.) In this respect the timing of China’s emissions compares favorably to other leading emitters in terms of ambition.17

In submitting the 2030 peaking pledge to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, China’s leaders were being conservative, identifying a goal they were highly confident the country could meet. China’s ability to fulfill that pledge reflects the important role in China’s economy of many policies to reduce emissions. The pledge identifies a metric on which China’s level of ambition compares favorably to several other leading emitters.

Public Messaging. In their public statements, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders send the message that climate change is real, that they are serious about addressing it and that doing so is part of China’s development strategy. Calls for low-carbon development are common, including President Xi’s call for a “green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable way of life.”18 President Xi has said that “addressing climate change and implementation of sustainable development is not what we are asked to do, but what we really want to do and we will do well.”19

At the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, President Xi said that China will “build a low-carbon energy system, develop green buildings and low-carbon transportation” and that “tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind.”20 In October 2017, after US President Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris Agreement, President Xi said, “taking the driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.”21

These themes are repeated in many official documents and speeches.22

At one level, public statements of this kind are “just words.” Yet such statements can have an impact, in part by establishing a context that shapes policies on high-priority topics, including economic development and urbanization. Such statements also encourage Chinese citizens in many walks of life to help contribute to solutions to climate change. Harnessing the talents of Chinese engineers, scientists, businesspeople and students—among many others—could make a significant difference in responding to climate change.

(There are no climate deniers in the Chinese leadership—or at least none with any observable influence on policy. In part, this reflects a respect for science and scientists that runs deep in Chinese culture. Indeed, Chinese officials have often expressed puzzlement about statements by some US government officials rejecting the global scientific consensus with respect to climate change.)23

Second, many Chinese climate policies have multiple objectives. (This is a strength from the standpoint of climate mitigation.)

Chinese official documents identify dozens of policies that help fight climate change, including policies to cut coal use, scale up natural gas and renewables, improve vehicle fuel efficiency, promote sustainable urbanization, and promote forest conservation.24 Many of these policies have multiple objectives:

  • Coal-to-natural gas switching is central to cleaning the air in China’s cities.

  • Support for solar and wind power is part of a strategy to position China for success in industries of the future.

  • Vehicle fuel efficiency programs reduce China’s oil import dependence.

  • Sustainable urbanization programs help make China’s cities more livable.

  • Forestry programs help fight flooding and desertification.

Many other governments around the world also identify policies with multiple objectives as “climate policies.”25 In part, this reflects the realities of governance. Important policies rarely have single objectives. In part, it reflects the challenges of climate change as a policy issue, discussed above. Precisely because climate change is such a challenging policy issue, climate policies may be more durable or successful when aligned with other important policy goals.

In his remarks at the Paris Climate Conference, President Xi Jinping said that China has “integrated climate change efforts into [our] medium- and long-term program of economic and social development.”26 Continuing to do so will be central China’s success in addressing climate change.

Third, China’s governance systems have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to addressing climate change.

The Chinese government sets goals far beyond the time frames of many other governments. Perhaps most notable, the “Two Centenary Goals,” first articulated in 1997 and given major prominence starting in 2012, call for China to achieve a “moderately prosperous society” by 2021 and build a “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” country by 2049.27 (2021 is the 100-year anniversary of the Communist Party of China. 2049 is the 100-year anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.) In addition, for more than 60 years, Five-Year Plans have guided Chinese policy making over multiyear periods. The Chinese government is currently on its 13th Five-Year Plan and will soon start serious preparations for its 14th.

This capacity for long-term planning offers significant advantages in responding to climate change. Solutions to climate change involve fundamental changes to energy systems, many of which require years or decades to fully implement. The Chinese government’s demonstrated capacity to establish long-term goals and work successfully to meet them is a significant asset in planning, implementing and sustaining an energy transition.28

Other parts of the Chinese governance system are less favorable in this regard.

  • In many policy areas, China’s implementation and enforcement systems are still in development. Many ministries lack sufficient resources to monitor, let alone enforce, substantive topics within their domains. Although environmental enforcement cases have increased significantly in 2017 and 2018, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations remains a challenge.29

  • Chinese statistical systems face similar issues. Although China’s statistical systems have made enormous strides in the past decade, they too are still in development. Systematic reporting biases can undercut the reliability of results.30

These implementation, enforcement and statistical issues create challenges in responding to climate change.

Fourth, some Chinese policies run counter to climate change goals.

Many Chinese policies help reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, as discussed above. However, at least two sets of Chinese policies do the opposite.

Synthetic Natural Gas. Synthetic natural gas (“SNG”) plants convert coal to gas, typically to be piped into cities where the gas produces less local air pollution when burned than coal. The climate change impacts of this process are negative: One recent study found that using synthetic natural gas for electricity and industrial heat generation produces 40%–70% more CO2 emissions than directly burning coal.31

As of June 2018, five pilot synthetic natural gas projects were operating in China. Roughly 80 SNG projects were in different stages of the development pipeline—10 more than in June 2017.32

Whether these plants will be built is unclear. New SNG projects struggle to receive environmental approvals, with only four granted in 2016.33 The plants are also expensive and require enormous amounts of water, which have been significant barriers to construction. Several five-year plan goals for SNG plant construction have been missed. The 12th Five-Year Plan set a goal of 15 billion–18 billion cubic meters per year of SNG capacity by 2015, however only 3.1 billion cubic meters per year of SNG capacity had been built by that year.34

Nevertheless, China’s 13th Five-Year plan sets a goal of producing 17 billion cubic meters per year of SNG by 2020. (As of June 2018, SNG production was roughly 6 billion cubic meters per year.) If this goal were met, CO2 emissions from Chinese SNG plants would be roughly 85 million tons per year—almost 1% of China’s current CO2 emissions and 0.3% of global CO2 emissions.35

Overseas Coal-Fired Power Plants. Chinese policy banks and state-owned enterprises are among the largest financiers of coal power plants in the world. Between 2008 and 2017, China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China provided more than $43 billion for coal power plants outside China’s border (including more than $15 billion in 2015, 2016 and 2017).36

These plants produce very significant amounts of heat-trapping gases. According to one estimate, coal power plants outside China financed by China Development Bank and China ExIm produce almost 600 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 each year—more CO2 emissions than all but seven countries in the world. If these plants operate on average for 30 years each, they will cumulatively emit 17.8 Gt of CO2—almost half of global emissions in 2017.37

Chinese companies are playing important roles in dozens of coal power plants under development around the world today. One study found Chinese involvement (including equipment exports, construction or financing) in more than 100 coal-fired power plants in planning or under construction in Belt and Road countries as of May 2017.38 Another study found Chinese coal plant developers behind 68–76 GW of new coal-fired power plants currently in the planning pipeline abroad.39 In the first half of 2018, media outlets reported on Chinese support for new coal power plants in countries including Serbia, Bosnia, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam.40

Fifth, China – like all major emitters – will need to do more for the world to achieve its climate goals.

In the Paris Agreement, more than 190 nations agreed to the goal of:

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C [3.6°F] above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° C [2.7° F] above pre-industrial levels.”41

Before the Paris climate conference, almost all of those nations also submitted national action plans for addressing climate change (known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or “INDCs”). However those plans, taken together, do not put the world on a path toward achieving the agreed 2°C [3.6°F] goal, let alone the more ambitious 1.5°C [2.7° F] goal. Estimates vary, but generally find that if all INDCs were implemented global average temperatures would increase in the range of 2.7°-3.7°C (4.9-6.7°F).42

To compound the problem, many nations are not fully implementing their INDCs. The European Union, Japan and United States are all at risk of failing to meet their INDC targets and pledges.43

Furthermore, most INDCs describe plans only until 2030. For the world to achieve its climate goals, significant action to reduce emissions will be required after 2030. (Indeed the Paris Agreement calls for “rapid reductions” in emissions after a global peak and net zero emissions during the second half of this century.)44

For all these reasons, it is clear the world will need to do much more to meet its climate goals. It is also clear that China must play an important role in these efforts, for several reasons.

First and most obvious, China is the world’s leading emitter of heat-trapping gases. There is no solution to climate change that doesn’t involve China.

Second, China has enormous potential to contribute to solutions to climate change. In the past decade, it played a central role in dramatic cost reductions for solar power – a technology with the potential to significantly reduce power sector emissions around the world in the decades ahead. China’s current investments in electric vehicles could play a transformational role for that technology, helping reduce transport sector emissions around the world as well. The Chinese government’s focus on innovation and commitment to clean energy could help generate important discoveries and advances with global impacts in the decades ahead.

Third, many countries look to China’s development model with enormous interest. Countless countries would like to emulate China’s economic miracle. The ways that China “integrate[s] climate change efforts into [its] medium- and long-term program of economic and social development,” to once again quote President Xi Jinping, has the potential to be a model for many countries around the world.45

Fourth, China’s activities abroad have considerable emissions impacts. The extent to which Chinese financial institutions and companies support low carbon infrastructure as opposed to high carbon infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative will make an enormous difference in global emissions in the decades ahead.

Finally, China will play an important role in climate diplomacy in the next several years and beyond. As the world considers next steps under the Paris Agreement, the Chinese government’s positions and views will be key to shaping a global consensus.

As the world meets the climate challenge in the decades ahead, China’s role will be central.


1. IPCC Working Group 1, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis -- Chapter 5: Information from Paleoclimate Archives” at p.385, FINAL.pdf.

2. IPCC Working Group II, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability -- Summary for Policymakers” at p.13,

3. See Richard Lazarus, “Super Wicked Problems and Climate Change: Restraining the Present to Liberate the Future,” Cornell Law Review (2009), pp.1153–1234, cgi?article=1152&context=facpub (describing climate change as a “super-wicked” policy problem).

4. IPCC Working Group II, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability -- Summary for Policymakers” at p.13.

5. See chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of this Guide.

6. GDP data from World Bank Data, “GDP Growth-China,” KD.ZG?end=2017&locations=CN&start=1978 (accessed July 8, 2018). Coal consumption data from “BP Statistical Review of World Energy” (June 2018) at p.39, economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2018-full-report.pdf; “中国统计年鉴2017” [China Statistical Yearbook 2017], 9-2 能源消费总量及构成 (Energy Consumption Summary and Structure), National Bureau of Statistics of China,

7. See chapter 9 of this Guide.

8. National Bureau of Statistics, “Statistical Bulletin 2017” (February 28, 2018), pressrelease/201802/t20180228_1585666.html and html.

9. IAEA, “Power Reactor Information Systems,” aspx?current=CN (accessed June 9, 2018) (57 nuclear power plants under construction in the world, 18 of which are in China).

10. See Figure 1-8 in this Guide. GDP data from World Bank Data, “GDP Growth-China” (accessed July 8, 2018).

11. Dabo Guan et al., “Structural decline in China’s CO2 emissions through transitions in industry and energy systems,” Nature Geoscience (July 2, 2018),

12. IEA, “Global Energy and CO2 Status Report” (March 2018) at p.3.

13. See chapter 6 of this Guide; Noah Kaufman and Jonathan Elkind, “Can China’s Co2 Trading System Avoid the Pitfalls of Other Emissions Trading Schemes?,” Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy (February 2018), CGEPCanChinaCO2TradingSystemAvoidPitfallsofOtherEmissionsTradingSchemes218_0.pdf

14. See chapters 7, 13, 14, 15 and 17 of this Guide.

15. People’s Republic of China, Enhanced Action on Climate Change: China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (June 2015), China%27s%20First%20NDC%20Submission.pdf.

16. See Feng Hao and Tang Damin, “China could peak carbon emissions in 2023,” China Dialogue (November 23, 2017), carbon- emissions-in-2-23; Qilin Liu, Qi Lei, Huiming Xu and Jiahai Yuan, “China’s energy revolution strategy into 2030,” Resources, Conservation and Recycling (January 2018), article/pii/S0921344917303130?via%253Dihub; Ye Qi, Nicholas Stern, Wu Tong, Lu Jiaqi and Fergus Green, “China’s post-coal growth,” Nature Geoscience (2016) at pp.564–566, China%E2%80%99s%20Post-Coal%20Growth.pdf.

17. Qi Min, Chai Hua and Qing Xuc, “Modeling an emissions peak in China around 2030,” Advances in Climate Change Research (December 2014) at table 2, Chinese GDP per capita in December 2017 was $8,830 at market exchange rates (CEIC Data, https://www., accessed May 29, 2018), Conversion to 2005 PPP yields approximately $16,500 GDP per capita. If Chinese GDP growth rate averages 5% per year, China’s GDP per capita in 2005 PPP terms in the mid-2020s would be in the range of $20,000–$26,000.

18. President Xi Jinping, “Speech at UN Geneva Office” (January 18, 2017), 01/19/c_135994707.htm?from=singlemessage.

19. “State Council Information Office briefing on climate change,” (September 19, 2014), http://www.

20. “President Xi’s speech at opening ceremony of Paris climate summit,” China Daily (December 1, 2015), http://

21. “Xi Jinping’s report at 19th CPC National Congress” (October 18, 2017), special/2017-11/03/c_136725942.htm.

22. See, for example, People’s Republic of China, “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (June 2015) at p.1, Submission.pdf; NDRC, “China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change” (2017), http://www.cma.; National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Foreign A airs and Ministry of Commerce, “Guidance on Promoting Green Belt and Road” (May 8, 2017), https://eng.yidaiyilu. and http://

23. In 1977, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said “The key to achieving modernization is the development of science and technology.” Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Volume II, reprinted at china/19thcpcnationalcongress/2010-10/15/content_29714580.htm. See generally Geo Dembecki, “The Convenient Disappearance of Climate Denial in China,” Foreign Policy (May 31, 2017), http://foreignpolicy. com/2017/05/31/the-convenient-disappearance-of-climate-change-denial-in-china/.

24. People’s Republic of China, “Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution” (June 2015) at p.1; NDRC, “China’s Policies and Actions” (2017).

25. See INDCs as communicated by parties, UNFCCC website, Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx.

26. “President Xi’s speech at opening ceremony of Paris climate summit” (December 1, 2015).

27. SHI Jia, “中央文献重要术语译文发布,” Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (2015),

28. On energy transitions, see Vaclav Smil, Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects (Praeger, 2010); Richard Rhodes, Energy: A Human History (Simon and Schuster, 2018)

29. Peter Corne and Johnny Browaeys, “China Cleans up Its Act on Environmental Enforcement,” The Diplomat (December 9, 2017),

30. See Chapter 1(C) of this Guide; Jan Ivar Korsbakken et al., “Uncertainties around reductions in China’s coal use and CO2 emissions” (February 16, 2016) at p.1, html; Derek Scissors, “China’s Economic Statistics Means Everything and Nothing” (May 24, 2016), http://www.

31. Chris Emery, “Synthetic gas would cut air pollution but worsen climate damage in China,” Princeton University (April 28, 2017), climate-damage-china. See chapter 12 of this Guide.

32. ARA International Limited, “China Natural Gas Map” (April 2018), to-gas.htm; Hu Yuejun, “煤制天然气深度调查:70个项目大干快上 示范项目盈利难” [Synthetic Natural Gas In-depth Investigation: 70 Projects Launched, but Di cult to Make Profits], China Energy Net (June 16, 2017) at appendix,

33. 北极星电力网新闻中心 [Bjx News Center], “聚焦| 2016年煤制气项目发展状况分析” [Focus: 2016 Synthetic Natural Gas Projects Development Status Analysis] (March 28, 2017),

34. NDRC, “12th Five-Year Plan of National Natural Gas Development” (December 2012), zwgk/2012-12/03/content_2280785.htm; SINOPEC, “预计2020年煤质天然气产量达600亿立方米” [Estimated Synthetic Natural Gas Annual Output Reaches 60 Billion Cubic Meters by 2020] (December 2017), http://www.

35. Emery, “Synthetic gas” (April 28, 2017); See Sinopec, “Press release” (December 17, 2014), (“Preparation of coal gas per thousand cubic meters emits about 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide to 5 tons. If the future annual production of coal gas reached 100 billion cubic meters, an annual increase of nearly 500 million tons of carbon dioxide.”)

36. K.P. Gallagher, “China Global Energy Finance: A New Interactive Database,” Global Development Policy Center, Boston University (2017), See also Christine Shearer, Neha Mathew-Shah, Lauri Myllyvirta, Aiqun Yu and Ted Nace, “Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline” (March 2018) at p.9, https://endcoal. org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/BoomAndBust_2018_r6.pdf.

37. K. Sims Gallagher, “The Carbon Consequences of China’s Overseas Investments in Coal,” Policy Brief, Energy, Climate and Innovation Program, Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (May 2016), HiRes.pdf; “BP Statistical Review of World Energy” (June 2018) at p.49 (country emissions data).

38. Ren Peng, Liu Chang and Zhang Liwen, “China’s Involvement In Coal-Fired Power Projects Along The Belt And Road,” Global Environmental Institute (May 2017) at pp.1, 5,’s_ Involvement_in_Coal-fired_Power_Projects_OBOR_EN.pdf (106 new coal-fired power plants under construction or in planning pipeline as of May 2017).

39. “Database: Companies on Coal Expansion Course,” (accessed July 7, 2018); Hiroko Tabuchi, “As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants,” New York Times (July 1, 2017),

40.  citations to news articles and more background, see chapter 20(C) of this Guide.

41. Paris Agreement Article 2(1)(a),

42. For a good summary of studies, see Kelly Levin and Taryn Fransen, “Why Are INDC Studies Reaching Di erent Temperature Estimates?” (November 09, 2015), World Resources Institute, insider-why-are-indc-studies-reaching-di erent-temperature-estimates

43. David Victor et al., “Prove Paris was more than paper promises,” Nature (August 1, 2017), https://www.nature. com/news/prove-paris-was-more-than-paper-promises-1.22378

44. Paris Agreement Article 4(1),

45. President Xi’s speech at opening ceremony of Paris climate summit, China Daily (December 1, 2015),’s_Involvement_in_Coal-fired_Power_Projects_OBOR_EN.pdf.

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