Assessing China’s Energy-Saving Practices in Its 11th Five Year Plan: from A Transition Management Perspective
Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
During its 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), China fixes strict energy-saving goals for its economic activities. For instance, a binding objective of 20 percent reduction in energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product, GDP) is proposed. In order to achieve its energy conservation goals, the central government has released many relevant policies. This paper focuses on how China implemented its energy saving and emission reduction policy, from the perspective of transition management (TM) which originated from Netherlands. TM gets inspiration from the idea of transition and emphasizes the role of government in managing a transition. The TM theory can contribute to a better understanding of energy conservation policy in China where the energy consumption structure and approach are undergoing a transition, namely, from a kind of “extensive” pattern of economic growth to an “intensive” one. The Chinese government is actively promoting this transition. For example, at the regime level, the government has promulgated and revised many supporting laws and regulations, such as the Circular Economy Promotion Law, Energy Conservation Law and the Comprehensive Working Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction. At the niche level, the government implemented many innovative programs including the development and deployment of energy-saving technologies, construction of energy-saving buildings, establishment of energy efficiency monitoring and evaluation systems, etc. In the midst of illustrating these activities, this paper will pay special attention to the governability of central government.