Yuchao Xu

Yuchao Xu is a graduate of the Master in International Affairs programme at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

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                    [post_content] => Many countries, including in Asia Pacific, have announced pledges to variously peak greenhouse gas emissions or achieve net zero emissions in the coming decades. In many countries, the low-carbon energy transition will require a radical change in systems for space heating and cooking. This is especially important in regions with long, cold winters. Whilst many of these regions today rely on electricity or natural gas, China is an exception where coal accounted for 12% of final energy consumption in buildings in 2019. Traditional biomass accounted for 13%. This compares to a global average of 4% and 19% respectively.  Within China, the use of coal for winter heating and cooking is particularly prominent in the northern regions. Not only are the winters long and cold, but the production and use of coal have formed the core of the economy for decades. For this reason, the government has embarked on a programme to introduce clean heating and cooking systems across northern China to reduce the use of coal and traditional biomass. This paper addresses challenges in the introduction of clean heating. The focus is on Shanxi Province in northern China, being the country’s heartland for coal production and consumption. It is argued that although achieving significant success, China’s programmes for introducing clean heating encountered significant obstacles to implementation. These challenges arose from a combination of the top-down campaign style of the programmes that led to poor policy coordination and the inadequate scale of available financial resources.
                    [post_title] => Managing the social consequences of the transition away from coal: the case of clean heating in Shanxi Province, China
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                    [post_content] => The low-carbon energy transition will have severe negative socio-economic consequences for some economic regions, sectors, and social groups for many years to come. The social groups most impacted will include those involved in the supply chain for coal, especially in those countries or regions where coal plays a central role in the energy sector and the wider economy. Shanxi Province in north China is one such region.  The aim of this Energy Insight is to examine is to examine the distributive justice aspects of reduced coal mining employment. In other words, the compensation and assistance provided to unemployed miners. Whilst the lessons from China may not be directly relevant to other countries with large coal mining industries, the experience of Shanxi does reveal the scale of financial and administrative resources that will be needed, as well as the challenges involved, in managing distributive justice during the low-carbon energy transition.
                    [post_title] => Managing the social consequences of the transition away from coal: the case of job losses in Shanxi Province, China
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Latest Publications by Yuchao Xu