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China: improving the local-central climate governance nexus

China’s national energy and carbon intensity targets are well known, as are the central government’s commitments to low carbon development. The recent low-carbon policy developments in China have relied primarily on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) defined by the central government. However, this working paper argues that the provincial and local levels are key, both in the implementation of the national strategy and in the design of sub-national policies. The paper reviews some of the provincial and local experiments in low carbon development, calls for more diversity in the design of sub-national policies to better reflect local circumstances and makes concrete policy recommendations for better coordination between the sub-national and national levels.