China's Road towards Decarbonization: Unrealistic Promise or a Credible Commitment?

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This article argues that in low- and middle-income countries, market forces alone are structurally inadequate to spark the rapid development of renewable energy resources and initiate the replacement of obsolete technologies with cleaner technologies. Using the theoretical perspective of new structural economics as a point of departure, the examination of system-level constraints to the transformation of renewable energy reveals that active state participation in the energy sector can, on the one hand, play a key role in limiting fossil fuel consumption and, on the other, accelerate the development of renewable energy technologies. Analysis of the structural characteristics that underlie the gradual deceleration of fossil fuel extraction and the acceleration of renewable energy deployment suggests that China has laid the necessary prerequisites to reconcile policy objectives of promoting energy transformation and ensuring long-term economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForum for Social Economics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Dec 2023


  • Decarbonization
  • energy transition
  • China’s industrial policies
  • state-led innovation


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