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Realizing China’s Paris Commitment to Addressing Climate Change: Challenges and Legal Solutions

January 2017

Citation: 47 ELR 10020

Issue: 1

Author: Zhou Xiaoguang

Since 1990, China’s carbon emissions have increased 73% due to economic growth. Although China’s emissions per capita are only about one-fifth of those from the United States, China is the largest emitter in the world. China signed the Paris Agreement on April 22 and plans to decrease its carbon dioxide emissions by 18% in the second half of this decade, according to the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan. Against this background, this Comment explores two questions: (1) Is China’s existing legal framework sufficient to fulfill its new pledges? (2) How will the current policies be strengthened and expanded? Analyzing the evidence available, this Comment evaluates the challenges of implementing the Paris Agreement in China, and puts forward suggestions on how to improve climate change regulations and policies.

Zhou Xiaoguang is a Ph.D. candidate at Wuhan University Law School.

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