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Environment China is a weekly bilingual podcast from the Beijing Energy Network. The show features conversations with advocates, entrepreneurs, and experts working in the environmental field in China.  We are looking to learn how they do their work, what new strategies and solutions they have found, and why now is the right time for real and positive changes in China’s environmental field.

If you like Environment China, you can subscribe on iTunes here, as well as on other podcast apps, such as Stitcher and Overcast. We also invite you to subscribe to our feed on libsyn here. And if you really like Environment China, you can leave us a comment on iTunes — we really appreciate your support!

Listen to the latest episodes below!

Aug 13, 2021

[Special note: due to microphone issues, the audio quality on this episode was somewhat poor, and may require listening in a quiet place. We think you will find the content compelling nonetheless.]

Today we will be talking about some recent issues related to climate change in China, especially the launch of trading on China’s national carbon trading system, as well as coverage of recent flooding in Henan province. Our guest today is Liu Hongqiao, China Specialist with Carbon Brief.

Hongqiao holds a masters in international relations (specialising in international energy) from Sciences Po in France. She previously worked as an independent consultant covering water, climate change and wildlife. Prior to that, Hongqiao was a Beijing-based journalist and analyst writing for publications such as Caixin and China Dialogue.

Carbon Brief is a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy, specialised in data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response. 

Topics we cover in detail today: 

  • Assessment of China's newly-launched carbon emissions trading system (ETS)
  • How the ETS will evolve
  • Whether the ETS will reduce emissions directly, or play a minor or supporting role
  • Misconceptions about China's Five-Year Plan and 2030-2060 carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals
  • Global media and scientific coverage of extreme weather 
  • How Chinese media have approached the issue of climate attribution

Important references from Carbon Brief:

You Xiaoying, "China issues new ‘single-game’ instructions to guide its climate action," Carbon Brief,  4 August 2021, at

Liu Hongqiao, "In-depth Q&A: Will China’s emissions trading scheme help tackle climate change?," Carbon Brief, 24 June 2021, at

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh et al., "­­­Lessons learned from five years of extreme weather ‘rapid attribution’," Carbon Brief, 12 May 2021, at

Liu Hongqiao et al., "Q&A: What does China’s 14th ‘five year plan’ mean for climate change?," Carbon Brief, 12 March 2021, at

"China Briefing, 29 July 2021: Lessons from deadly flooding; Definition of ‘carbon neutrality’; UK-China nuclear tensions," Carbon Brief, 29 July 2021, at

Other reports mentioned by Hongqiao:

Valerie J. Karplus, "China’s CO2 Emissions Trading System: History, Status, and Outlook," Harvard Belfer Center, June 2021, at

International Energy Agency analysis of China ETS: 

Transition Zero analysis of China ETS:

Twitter thread from Liu Hongqiao on weather attribution: