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Does China's low-carbon pilot programme really take off? Evidence from land transfer of energy-intensive industry

Tang, Pengcheng, Yang, Shuwang, Shen, Jun, Fu, Shuke
Energy policy 2018 v.114 pp. 482-491
greenhouse gas emissions, industry, local government, China
To realise the targets for controlling greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, China has issued three batches of low-carbon pilot programme since 2010. In this paper, we estimate the causal effect of the programme from the perspective of land transfer of energy-intensive industry, by using a difference-in-differences method. We also analyze the role of the local secretary, the de facto "first-in-command" official of local government. The results suggest that the pilot programme has come into play to a certain extent (a reduction of 26.271–29.158 ha’ land transfer of energy-intensive industry), but the effect attenuates quickly over time. After considering the moderating role of the secretary, the greater promotion potential (younger than 54 years old, more than the third year of time in office, and working experience in the upper level) is found to have worsened the pilot programme's effect. Therefore, the key to performing the pilot programme's function lies in enhancing the weight of the environment-related indicators in the promotion assessment system.