Opportunities, risks and recommendations for unconventional gas in China’s environmental transformation

Opportunities, risks and recommendations for unconventional gas in China’s environmental transformation

This paper analyses literature on the risks and opportunities posed by shale gas in China, and also what policy environment could maximise the opportunity and minimise the risk.  It also analyses China’s current policies and practice to understand whether the conditions for greener growth are in place.

The report concludes that many of the environmental risks shale gas poses are ‘manageable’, and amenable to conventional environmental law and policy tools. Its development could in principle offer significant net environmental benefits if the gas produced permanently replaces coal and helps set China on a pathway to a renewable-dominated energy system. The authors argue that the greater impediment is political, hinging on whether China has the political will and capacity to dramatically cap coal generation, invest in renewable energy and enforce strong environmental regulations and targets.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.