In September 2020, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping declared that China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Interestingly, China has always been an important player in the international climate change negotiations. It has played a vital role through its bilateral and multilateral co- operations, to shape international treaties and agreements. However, with severe air- pollution, the existence of cancer-villages, and the vulnerability that China faces due to climate change, China’s environmental governance, policy implementation, and its efficiency to address the environmental issues, is an interesting case study for both developed and developing countries. Furthermore, in the wake of COVID-19, China’s implementation of zero-COVID policy has further raised concerns of losing trust of the domestic population and also the international community. Undoubtedly, this challenges China’s position as a responsible stakeholder in the international climate change negotiations and other environmental forums. The commitments made by President Xi are quite ambitious. With its largest carbon emissions, largest population and still developing economy, the world is eager to know how China is going to achieve those commitments. Moreover, the phrase “Ecological Civilization’ enshrined in the Chinese Communist Party Constitution in 2012, has further garnered attention of the world on how China will formulate its domestic policies. Indeed, there is a challenge on how these green policies will translate to either readiness or commitment to encourage international cooperation on climate change. This panel discussion aims to strengthen the understanding of China’s environmental governance including trends, patterns and challenges.
About the Speakers
Rajiv Ranjan is an Associate Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China and also an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi.
Weilin Pan is an Associate Professor at the Institute of China Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. She also teaches at the China Studies Postgraduate Program of Shanghai International Studies University. She earned her doctoral degree in History from Fudan University in 2010. She was a visiting scholar at APSI Duke University (2008-2009) and The Carter Center, Atlanta (2015), the 2017 Robinson Scholar at the British Museum, the CGA-ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Shanghai (Sep 2018 to Aug 2019) and a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute (2019-2020). Her academic interests include material culture of modern China, China in modern English literature as well as overseas China Studies. She is the author of Un/Making the Hell Money: A Material Cultural History of Tinfoil in Southeast China (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press, 2018) and the editor of Material Culture in Modern China (Shanghai Rare Book Press, 2015). Her new book project is about recycling in Mao’s China (1949-1979).
Shiran Victoria Shen is the W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Her research explores the intersections of political science, public policy, environmental sciences, and engineering, with particular understanding of how local politics influence environmental governance. She is the author of The Political Regulation Wave: A Case of How Local Incentives Systematically Shape Air Quality in China (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
Shagufta Yasmin is pursuing her Ph.D. from the Centre of East Asian Studies, School of International Studies at JNU. She has completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chinese language and literature from the School of Languages, JNU. Her doctoral thesis is on ‘China's Environmental Diplomacy: A Study of its Environmental Cooperation with the United States of America and India, 1997-2019’. She has taught Chinese language at the Central University of Jharkhand. She completed her M.Phil research on 'China's Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiations on Climate Change Proposals: 1997-2013', from CEAS, SIS, JNU. She was one of the recipients of the 2017 ICS-HYI Multi-Year Doctoral Fellowship.
About the Chair
Manoranjan Mohanty an Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, its founding member and former Chairperson. He was a Professor of Political Science and Director, Developing Countries Research Centre at University of Delhi where he taught Comparative Politics, Chinese Politics and Research Methodology. Currently he is a Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi where until recently he edited the CSD-Sage journal Social Change. He is also the Emeritus Chairperson, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneswar, the research wing of Gabeshana Chakra of which he was the founder-president. He has had academic assignments in many institutions abroad including in California, Beijing, Moscow, Lagos, Copenhagen and Oxford. His recent publications include Ideology Matters: China from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping (2016, Hindi edition 2021) and China’s Transformation: The Success Story and the Success Trap (Sage,2018), Hindi edition Cheen ka Kayapalat (Sage Bhasha, 2020) based on a 30-year study of China’s reform with focus on Wuxi.
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