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Research Colloquium : Constructing Climate Policy - China & The European Union
Date: 29 November 2011 

School of Modern Languages and Cultures Research Colloquium:

Constructing Climate Policy – China & The European Union

Ms Charlotte Wong (MPhil Candidate /European Studies)

Date: Nov 29 , 2011
Time: 5.00-6.00 pm
Venue: KK  Leung Room 813

Besides the influence of a worldwide climate protection norm, Climate policies in China and Europe are driven by very different domestic forces.  In the past decade, it has been generally observed that the logic of consequence has dominated China’s climate policy formulation while Europe’s action is in line with the logic of appropriateness. Nonetheless, in recent years there have been subtle shifts of attitude and behaviors in accordance with the two regions’ changing international status against the backdrop of continual economic turmoil.  This thesis dissects the regions’ consideration factors at strategic level, regarding economic competitiveness and the overall Green Movement.  It is argued that climate policy is a social construction, which is a result of differing norm diffusion processes. Thus close examination will be put on the process of inculcating the green norms as filtered by domestic political structure, identity and culture, as well as social learning in political elites.  Apart from the top-down processes, it also discusses how domestic public intellectuals, the media and civil society connect with the global green movement to instantiate bottom-up construction of climate policy.

Questions asked: Faced with the alarming estimates that environmental degradation cost 3% of China’s GDP in 2007 and an awakening of environmental social protests, how does China’s “Growth-first” developmental mindset hinder or facilitate commitment in mitigation? Meanwhile, longtime climate leader Europe cannot strike a deal without China’s cooperation; and economic crisis at home has heightened up the competitiveness concern, such as carbon leakage, although the precautionary principle that encourages preemptive measures was formally written into its 1992 Maastricht treaty.

All students taking the Research Colloquium course must attend. Other staff and students are also welcome.

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Ms Christy Ho at

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