Book - Cambridge University Press

Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China

Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China cover image

Climate change is a key problem of the 21st century. China, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has committed to stabilize its current emissions and dramatically increase the share of electricity production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. However, this is only a first step: in the longer term, China needs to aggressively strive to reach a goal of zero-emissions. 

Through detailed discussions of electricity pricing, electric vehicle policies, nuclear energy policies, and renewable energy policies, this book reviews how near-term climate and energy policies can affect long-term decarbonization pathways beyond 2030, building the foundations for decarbonization in advance of its realization. Focusing primarily on the electricity sector in China - the main battleground for decarbonization over the next century – it provides a valuable resource for researchers and policymakers, as well as energy and climate experts.

  • Introduces the concept of a policy pathway for China beyond short-term greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Identifies the reforms needed to integrate large amounts of renewable energy into China's grid and the steps required to electrify its passenger transportation fleet.
  • Addresses the critical question of what policies China should pursue over the next ten years that will allow it to begin accelerating the transition to deep carbonization in the post-2030 period.


"[Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China] searchingly peels back the country’s road to decarbonisation to show how important short-term policy decisions will be for decades to come." - Seth O'Farrell, Reporter at fDi Intelligence

Video Highlights

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Lee, Henry, Daniel Schrag, Matthew Bunn, Michael Davidson, Wei Peng, Pu Wang and Zhimin Mao. Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, December 2021.

The Authors

Henry Lee