Business Sentiments Survey of China’s Low-Carbon and Energy Policies

By Tao Pan, Yu Geng, David Sawyer on March 6, 2015

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has been conducting a project to assess how China’s technical and economic industrial zones are interacting with the emerging low-carbon and energy policy framework.

A major focus of the work is to assess the effectiveness of the policy environment from a business perspective, with the intention of providing policy-makers in government and industrial zones with information to help shape future policy design.

This report presents the results of a survey assessing business perceptions of the emerging low-carbon and energy policy framework. Starting in May 2014, 1,000 Chinese companies were surveyed, with 230 completed questionnaires from both light and heavy manufacturing facilities in 16 provinces. In addition to these online surveys, 12 in-depth interviews and site visits were completed, and a number of workshops were held to solicit input.

Through our work, we sought to understand how industry is managing their energy and greenhouse gas emissions. We asked a series of questions about internal management systems and practices, differentiating results by the size of participating facilities based on energy use. We asked a series of questions about business perceptions on the effectiveness of the current energy and low-carbon policies. We sought to understand the range of policies affecting business, as well as perceived barriers that limit how firms respond.  We then asked how firms might improve policy effectiveness from an administrative perspective as well as identifying the types of policy instruments that are preferred by industry. We then sought to identify the capacity needs of industry, focusing on the types of training and knowledge firms are seeking.

Based on the analysis, we identified opportunities to strengthen the current policy environment, highlighting areas where policy-makers might coordinate and strengthen policy. A series of recommendations also aim to make policy more efficient and to achieve the energy and emission goals of the policies, while keeping costs low to maintain industry competitiveness.

To our knowledge, this is the first systematic survey of business perceptions of China’s carbon and energy policies. Given the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon and energy policies, we fully recognize that significant work has been undertaken to implement a comprehensive set of policies. In that light, this report is intended to help policy-makers and business alike better understand the current system, while providing a window into how policy might be designed to be more effective and efficient.

Report details

Climate Change Mitigation
Focus area
IISD, 2015