China faces many modernisation challenges. But perhaps none is more pressing than that posed by climate change. China must find a new economic growth model that is simultaneously environmentally sustainable, can free it from its dependency on fossil fuels, and lift living standards for the majority of its population. But what does such a model look like? And how can China best make the transition from its present macro-economic structure to a low-carbon future?

This book brings together leading international thinkers in economics, climate change, and development, to tackle some of the most challenging issues relating to China’s low-carbon development. They map out a deep carbon reduction scenario, analyse economic policies that shift carbon use, and show how China can take strong and decisive action to make deep reductions in carbon emission over the next 40 years while maintaining high economic growth and minimising adverse effects of a low-carbon transition. Moreover, these reductions can be achieved within the finite global carbon budget for greenhouse gas emissions, as determined by the hard constraints of climate science.

The authors make the compelling case that a transition to a low-carbon economy is an essential part of China’s development and modernisation. Such a transformation would also present opportunities for China to improve its energy security and move its economy higher up the international value chain. They argue that even in these difficult economic times, climate change action may present more opportunities than costs. Such a transformation, for China and the rest of the world, will not be easy. But it is possible, necessary and worthwhile to pursue.

Read more or purchase the book (external link to the publisher).

Read the project synthesis report, Going Clean: The Economics of China’s Low‐Carbon Development .


Fan Gang, Nicholas Stern, Ottmar Edenhofer, Xu Shanda, Klas Eklund, Frank Ackerman, Li Lailai and Karl Hallding.


  1. Fair Emissions: Rights, Responsibilities and Obligations.
  2. Fan Gang, Cao Jing and Su Ming.
  3. Equity Frameworks and a Greenhouse Development Rights Analysis for China. Sivan Kartha.
  4. Greenhouse Gases and Human Well-Being: China in a Global Perspective. Elizabeth A. Stanton.
  5. Carbon Embedded in China’s Trade. Frank Ackerman.
  6. A Deep Carbon Reduction Scenario for China. Charlie Heaps.                                                                                                                                                              PART III – GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
  7. Tax Instruments for Reducing Emissions: An Overview
    Ottmar Edenhofer, Robert Pietzcker, Matthias Kalkuhl and Elmar Kriegler.
  8. Exploring Carbon Tax in China. Cao Jing.
  9. Domestic Emissions Trading Systems. Steffen Brunner, Christian Flachsland, Gunnar Luderer and Ottmar Edenhofer.
  10. Emission Reduction and Employment. Cai Fang, Du Yang and Wang Meiyan.
                                                                                                                                 PART IV – CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION: A FAIR, EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT GLOBAL DEAL 
  11. International Mechanisms for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Finance and Investment. Michael Lazarus and Clifford Polycarp.
  12. Emissions Trading and the Global Deal. Christian Flachsland, Gunnar Luderer, Jan Steckel, Brigitte Knopf and Ottmar Edenhofer.
  13. Meeting Global Targets through International Cooperation. Fan Gang, Li Lailai and Han Guoyi.
  14. Policy Implications of Carbon Pricing for China’s Trade. Frank Ackerman.

Author biographies