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Low-Carbon Transition Challenges of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

June 2, 2022
La Jolla, CA

China’s climate ambitions rest to a large extent on the efforts of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which are the dominant players in major greenhouse gas-emitting sectors, including fossil fuel extraction, power, and heavy industry. Soon after China’s announcement of the 2060 carbon neutrality target in September 2020, power and coal SOEs moved to strengthen near-term commitments to low-carbon energy, indicating a clear political signal that the SOE managers felt they needed to accelerate deployment. However, commitments to date generally lack specificity in terms of how to achieve long-term ambitions.

Michael Davidson from UC San Diego will discuss the finances, assets, and employment structure of coal businesses in China’s major SOEs and identify pain points that will be faced as they engage in more detailed low-carbon transition planning. This talk will be moderated by Barry Naughton. Michael Davidson leads IGCC research on renewable energy pathways to support carbon neutrality in China, and Barry Naughton co-leads IGCC research on Chinese science, technology, innovation, and industrial policy. This event is sponsored by the 21st Century China Center and UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.