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The topics of China’s environment and energy are full of paradoxes. China burns half of the world’s coal – the main culprit of the country’s abysmal air quality – yet it is the world’s biggest and fastest growing renewable energy market. Its environment and energy policies are full of lofty goals, yet local implementation has long fallen far behind. It was once seen as the laggard in international climate negotiations, but now it is positioned to become a leader in taking climate actions unilaterally and multilaterally.

Organized into five themes (pollution, environmental governance, fossil fuels, transition to renewables, and climate change), this syllabus aims to guide you to understand the causes and symptoms of, and potential solutions to, China’s environmental and energy challenges. A sample of both Chinese and English language readings are arranged so that you can complete this course with an hour of reading each day, five days a week, over the course of five weeks.

To break up the readings and to provide visual aids, we have also included multimedia resources (a mix of photos and videos) for each week.

How China, the world’s manufacturing hub, powers itself while becoming greener is one of the world’s greatest quandaries. There’s a lot of work to be done, so we’re glad you’re here to help.


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