Dongping Wang

Ph.D. Kandidat
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Prof. Dr. Genia Kostka
Freie Universität Berlin
Graduate School of Global Politics
Environment Policy Research Cente



Ph.D. Title: Networks in Chinese Municipal Climate Politics: Actors, Strategies and Implications

Against the background of climate governance challenges and increasing consensus that top-down approach to address on climate change is not enough (Litfin 2000, Ostrom 2010), there is increasing bottom-up dynamic in local government level (Koehn 2016) and engagement of non-government actors (Moe 2013, Voß 2015) in Chinese climate governance, which traditionally tends to be top-down (Qi 2008) or authoritarian (Gilley 2012).

Among these local dynamics are the intermediary organizations in municipal climate governance, which can be government NGOs like low carbon associations, or carbon consultancy companies. These intermediary organizations played an important role in coordinating government agencies across different levels, including municipal, district, street and the communities, and also communicating between government agencies, research institutes, and private companies to facilitate actions to mitigate climate change. These intermediary organizations actively communicate and coordinate between different stakeholders, building networks to facilitate low carbon transition and leveraging resources for climate projects in local municipalities. But why these intermediary organizations have emerged in some municipalities while not in others? How do they operate? And how effective does the networking influence local municipal climate governance?

This research will answer these questions through case analysis of climate governance in Beijing, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Wuxi. These four municipalities are located in different regions of China with different municipal attributes. This research will provide diversified picture of networks across different regions and understand their implications for Chinese local climate governance. The research will also provide sector case of building sector, MSW, climate communication to better inform the readers about how local networks work and their implication for Chinese local climate governance.

Through comparing the kinds of institutionalized mechanisms for local network building and the factors that help or hinder such local networks in pushing low carbon transition forward. The empirical findings can help understand what is going on in Chinese local climate governance. The research will also prove useful for understanding Chinese climate policy and its domestic implementation over the past few years.