China is facing the dual challenges of mitigating climate change and maintaining the pace of economic growth. In order to control greenhouse gas emissions with the least social cost, China has piloted seven regional carbon markets since 2013. More importantly, it announced the launching of the national emission trading scheme (ETS) in late 2017. To rationalize the design of the national ETS, this paper aims to provide a roadmap of China’s ETS development from an economic perspective. In the short-term, the priority is to develop a robust market by enhancing the establishment of property rights and monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system. In the mid-term, the national ETS should increase its market liquidity with a higher share of allowance auctioned and the development of carbon finance. In the long-term, the ETS should gradually tighten its emission target to form an explicit while increasing carbon price, and to provide a continuous incentive for China’s decarbonization.
Article 6 of Paris Agreement introduces two international market mechanisms that, which receive extensive attention and will play an important role in post 2020 climate regime. Three key elements of the international market mechanisms, including the scope, the tradable units’ type and the governance, are identified, as the basis to clarify the basic forms of the two international market mechanisms. Based on the focus issues and their different design identified in negotiations, this paper analyzes the opportunities and challenges for China to participate in the international market mechanism. Considering the inherent needs of climate change mitigation, climate finance, the development of green Belt and Road and South-South Cooperation on climate change, and the existing domestic capacities on the market mechanisms, this paper puts forward the short-term, medium-term and long-term development prospects of the two international market mechanisms.
Based on the development history of the typical international carbon market, this study established an evaluation index system composed of 32 sub-indicators, measured from the four dimensions of political appeal, decision-making environment, economic base, and market foundation. In depth analysis is conducted on European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Western Climate Initiative (WCI) etc., in order to summarize the common criteria for different types of international carbon markets and find out which type of market is most suitable for China. The establishment of a cross-border coalition-based carbon market usually considers three key points: close economic links, high cost of abatement in individual regions, and proximity of geographical locations. The establishment of national carbon markets usually takes into consideration the national mandatory emission reduction responsibilities, strong demand for energy structure transformation, and stable national legislation protection. The establishment of regional carbon markets usually includes conditions such as strong regional emission reduction requirements and lack of national legislation of emission rights. The prerequisites for the establishment of industry-based carbon markets include four characteristics: high concentration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, protection of industrial competitiveness, increases in demand of key emission industries, and solid foundation for industrial emission data. Therefore, this study proposes that China’s carbon market development should consider combination of industry-based and cross-border coalition-based carbon markets, further improve the effectiveness of regulatory policy system, accelerate the collection of local GHG emission inventory data, and strengthen local capacity building so as to achieve the dual goals of GHG emission reduction and industrial restructuring and upgrading through the carbon market.
The auction mechanism plays an important role in carbon markets. In this paper, we review the auction mechanism in different carbon markets, including the EU, California, Australia and China’s pilot carbon markets, and we analyze the auction effect on these carbon markets. The auction practice of international carbon markets shows auction mechanism can benefit carbon markets by better operations and liquidity. However, China’s pilot carbon markets are still under development and improvement and the auction mechanism is at experimental stage. We propose some suggestions to China’s national carbon market from the auction factor design, the auction platform construction and the auction fund management. These research conclusions and recommendations are expected to provide valuable reference for the design of auction mechanism in China’s national carbon market.
Based on precipitation observations from meteorological stations, the spatial and temporal variations of precipitation in the semi-arid region of northern China during 1960-2016 were analyzed by using EOF method. The research showed that the dominant spatial modes of summer precipitation in semi-arid region of northern China from 1960 to 2016 could be summarized as the regional in-phase type and the sub-regional out-of-phase type. The time series of regional in-phase type showed that the summer precipitation in semi-arid region generally decreased from 1960 to 2016, but the decrease trend in August was more remarkable than that in July. The sub-regional out-of-phase type showed that the interannual variability of precipitation in July and August was relatively small, but the inter-decadal variability was larger. The correlation analysis between the regional in-phase type time coefficients and the atmospheric circulation as well as water vapor transport variables showed that the Eurasian teleconnection and the mid-latitudes westerlies are closely correlated with the precipitation variations in July, while the Western Pacific Subtropical High (WPSH) is the main factor affecting the interannual variations of August precipitation in the semi-arid region. The correlation analysis of sub-regional out-of-phase type time coefficients showed that when the anticyclonic circulation controls the semi-arid northern China, it is easy to form a distribution pattern with more precipitation in the west and relatively lower precipitation in the east of the semi-arid area in northern China.
Based on surface observation meteorological data during 1961-2017 and ERA-interim reanalysis data, an evaluation method of different meteorological conditions for heavy air pollution (MCHAP) was set up by using atmospheric self-cleaning ability index (ASI). Through analyzing the historical variation characteristics of MCHAP of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in autumn and winter, the results were as follows. During 1961-2017, the frequency and extremity of MCHAP in Jincheng of Shanxi province ranked the first. MCHAP occurred more frequently in Beijing, Langfang of Hebei province and Zhengzhou of Henan province and more extremely in Baoding, Shijiazhuang and Hengshui of Hebei province. MCHAP had occurred in “2+26” cities around Beijing-Tianjin -Hebei region in history since 1961, but which were more common in recent years and caused much more sever air pollution events. During the period of 2013-2017, MCHAP occurred the least frequently in 2017 in “2+26” cities around Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region except Beijing. However the extremity of MCHAP in 2017 receded a lot in Beijing. Both in the 1980s and the period of 2010-2017, MCHAP in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and its surrounding areas took place the most frequently, which was affected by both the cold air intensity and the change of large-scale air stagnation condition. To some extent, the development of urbanization also plays a role in the decadal change of MCHAP.
In order to explore impacts of future climate change on main nutritional ingredient in grains of winter wheat, a six-year manipulation experiment of interactive temperature and CO2 concentration was conducted using the open top chambers and infrared radiators during entire growth period of winter wheat, two scenarios of temperature increase and CO2 concentration elevation predicted for the middle and late periods of the 21st century were simulated. The results showed that the protein content in grains of winter wheat slightly increased under combined impact of increased temperature and CO2 concentration during entire growing season. It is likely that the comprehensive impacts of temperature increase have compensated the negative effect of elevated CO2 concentration on protein content of wheat. Meanwhile, the starch and fat contents in grains of winter wheat were most likely unaffected by the combined effect. It is expected that climate change will probably not cause the decline of main nutritional quality of winter wheat in northern China.
Research on the sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change contributes to the understanding of the relationship between climate change and livelihoods, and it is of great significance to enhance farmers’ climate change adaptability and reduce livelihood vulnerability. On the basis of combing the concept of sensitivity in different fields, the scientific connotation, the research framework, the characterization, and the indicator system of farmers’ livelihood sensitivity to climate change are analyzed. The sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change refers to the extent to which climate change and extreme events affect the livelihood of farmers. Sensitivity characterization is mainly reflected in the impacts of climate change on natural resources, human health, livestock, assets, and income. Different regions and populations have different sensitivities to climate change. The sensitivity of farmers’ livelihoods to climate change usually declines as the degree of development increases. For example, livelihood diversification and good infrastructure can reduce the impacts of climate change. Livelihood sensitivity assessment is mostly part of the vulnerability study, and the sustainable livelihood framework and the indicator method are often used for sensitivity assessment. Future research needs to improve sensitivity theory frameworks and research methods, enhance the study on the effectiveness of adaptation, and make cross-regional or cross-period comparisons of livelihood sensitivities, with a focus on ecologically fragile and poor areas.
It is essential to understand the mechanism of behaviors in farmers’ adaptation to climate change and meteorological disasters to make climate change policies in the future. In combine with the structural equation model, the survey data of farmers in the cherry planting area of Bailuyuan in Xi’an were used to analyze the behavior mechanism of growers’ adaptation to climate change and meteorological disasters based on Theory of Planned Behavior. The results show that cherry growers’ attitude toward the behavior, subject norm and perceived behavior control interact with each other. They have a direct positive impact on behavior intention, and attitude toward the behavior has the highest impact. Growers’ behavioral intention to climate change and meteorological disasters has a significant impact on adaptation behavior. The perceived behavior control of peasant households has not significant influence on the adaptation to climate change behavior and meteorological disasters.
In the context of global climate change and frequent meteorological disasters, farmers’ adaptive behaviors have attracted the attention of many scholars. Meanwhile, the efficacy perception of adaptive behaviors is related to farmers’ ability to accurately and effectively cope with the impacts of climate change and meteorological disasters. Based on the survey data from the interviews with cherry growers of 9 villages in Bailuyuan region of Shaanxi Province, this paper uses the theory of planned behavior and path analysis method to identify the influence factors to the efficacy perception of cherry growers’ adaptive behaviors, and then utilizes the ordinal logistic regression model to explore the influence mechanism of cherry growers’ attributes, perception of climate change, perception of meteorological disasters in different growth periods of cherry on the weaker efficacy perception of adaptive behaviors. The results show that attitude towards the behavior, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control of the cherry growers all have significant positive impacts on the efficacy perception of adaptive behaviors, the more positive the individual’s attitude, the greater the pressure from the surrounding, the stronger the ability to implement adaptive behaviors, then the higher the level of efficacy perception of adaptive behaviors. The relatively weaker efficacy perception of adaptive behaviors is mainly affected by the cherry growers’ age, the household agricultural income, the perception of local warming trend in the recent 30 years and the cognition of frost change. Finally, targeted policy suggestions are put forward on the basis of above conclusions.
As the largest operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is not only an important channel for developed countries to fulfill their long-term financial commitment of $100 billion, but also a key factor in achieving the objectives of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. This paper summarizes the positive role of the GCF in advancing the international cooperation on climate change, providing financial support for developing countries to tackle climate change, and promoting private sector participation in climate change action. Against the backdrop of challenges in the multilateral cooperation, the GCF is also confronted with many immediate and potential difficulties such as uncertainty of financial resources, lack of effective decision-making mechanisms, need for improvement of project quality and the capacity of the Secretariat. This paper presents that an effective GCF is vital for the implementation of Paris Agreement. To ensure the sustainable development of the GCF, the paper suggests that all parties should build political consensus and take the following actions. First, improve the governance efficiency by introducing voting mechanism in the absence of consensus, filling policy gaps and innovating business model. Secondly, ensure adequate and sustainable financial resources by finalizing formal replenishment process as soon as possible, receiving contributions from alternative sources, managing remaining commitment authority; and finally, enhance the coordination and complementarity with existing climate funds and multilateral development banks to make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low carbon and climate resilient development. This papers also proposes that China should facilitate the GCF reform process by bridging the differences between developed and developing countries, and at the same time ensure the board membership for the next three years to promote the holistic cooperation with GCF and make contributions in the GCF formal replenishment process to serve the ecological civilization and the global climate action.