Scholars of global climate governance hypothesize that local government and private sector actors could be crucial to helping implement national climate goals, and, in some cases, giving national actors the ability to increase ambition. But whether these theories appropriately apply to China, where local government and corporate actors are highly vertically-integrated with national government policies, is a question that is inadequately addressed in the literature, which draws heavily from liberal and democratic contexts. Exactly how Chinese cities, provinces, and business actors contribute to climate mitigation, adaptation, and financing activities within China, and whether there is scope for these actors to exceed top-down allocated climate targets are areas requiring further inquiry. New theories and evidence for the contributions of cities, regions, and corporate actors are needed for China and other more vertically-integrated political contexts.

A Yale-NUS College Chinese Research Programme grant from the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture & Civilization Programme, which funds research activities related to China and Chinese culture, will enable Dr. Angel Hsu, Director of Data-Driven Lab; Dr. Thomas Hale, Associate Professor at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government; and Dr. Sander Chan, Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute, to characterize the interactions and impacts of local government and private sector climate actions in China. More details are available here.