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Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China


During the last few decades, China has accomplished unprecedented economic growth and has emerged as the second largest economy in the world. This ‘economic miracle’ has led hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but has also come at a high cost. Environmental degradation and the impact of environmental pollution on health are nowadays issues of the greatest concern for the Chinese public and the government.

The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China focuses on the environmental challenges of China’s rapidly growing economy and provides a comprehensive overview of the policies developed to address the environmental crisis. Leading international scholars and practitioners examine China’s environmental governance efforts from an interdisciplinary perspective. Divided into five parts, the handbook covers the following key issues:

• Part I: Development of Environmental Policy in China - Actors and Institutions

• Part II: Key issues and Strategies for Solution

• Part III: Policy Instruments and Enforcement

• Part IV: Related Policy Fields – Conflicts and Synergies

• Part V: China’s Environmental Policy in the International Context

This comprehensive handbook will be an invaluable resource to students and scholars of environmental policy and politics, development studies, Chinese studies, geography and international relations.


Eva Sternfeld is currently visiting professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Previously she was director of the Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China at Technische Universität Berlin and for eight years worked as foreign expert at the Center for Environmental Education and Communication (CEEC) of the Chinese Ministry for Environmental Protection in Beijing, China.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Eva Sternfeld

I Development of Environmental Policy in China – Actors and Institutions

2. Development of China’s environmental legislation Qin Tianbao and Zhang Meng
3. China’s local environmental politics Genia Kostka
4. Evolving Tactics of China’s Green Movement Judith Shapiro 
5. Advocacy coalitions for green economy and their influence on government policies Huang Haifeng, Sheng Chunhong and Julian Barg

Part II Key issues and Strategies for Solution 

6. Red Lines and China’s Water Resources Policy in the Twenty-first century James Nickum, Jia Shaofeng and Scott Moore 
7. Air pollution: How Will China Win its Self-Declared War Against it? Mette Halskov Hansen Anna L. Ahlers
8. Climate Change and Carbon Policymaking and Governance Gørild Heggelund and Rebecca Nadin 
9. Environmental policy and agriculture in China. From Regulation through model emulation to regulatory pluralism Bettina Blümling 
10. Conserving China’s Biological Diversity: National Plans, Transnational Projects, Local and Regional Challenges Chris Coggins 
11. Land Use Strategies in Northern China: Soil Conservation, Afforestation, Water Resource Management Susanne Stein and Heike Hartmann 
12. Balancing Environment, Health and Development: Evolving Policy Interactions Jennifer Holdaway 
13. Environmental accidents and disaster risk reduction Yu Fang, Cao Guozhi, Zhu Wenying and Yang Weishan

Part III Policy Instruments and Enforcement

14. Pollution Law Enforcement in China: Understanding National and Regional Variation Benjamin van Rooij, Zhu Qiaoqiao, Li Na, Wang Qiliang and Zhang Xuehua 
15. China’s policies on greening financial institutions: Assessments and outlook Arthur Mol 
16. Orchestrated Environmental Migration in Western China Jarmila Ptackova 
17. Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in China: Weaknesses, Strengths and Lessons learnt Mariachiara Alberton 
18. Access to environmental Information: transparency, participation and the role of media Sam Geall

Part IV Related Policy Fields – Conflicts and Synergies

19. Environment and Energy Policy: Background and Main Challenges Andreas Oberheitmann and Paul Suding 
20. Green Energy Innovation in China Joanna I. Lewis 
21. Low Carbon Urban Development in China: Policies and Practices Wang Can and Wenling Liu 
22. Municipal Solid Waste Management Thomas Johnson 
23. Dealing with Discarded E-Devices Yvan Schulz, Benjamin Steuer   

Part V China’s Environmental Policy in the International Context

24. Environment and Trade Hu Tao and Song Peng 
25. China’s policy frameworks for sustainable consumption and production Patrick Schröder 
26. China-EU relations and patterns of interactions on emission trading Olivia Gippner



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