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Low Carbon Innovation in China Prospects, Politics & Dr David Tyfield Partnerships IAS, Lancaster Low Carbon Innovation in China Prospects, Politics & Dr David Tyfield Partnerships IAS, Lancaster University & Demos New Perspectives on Chinese Innovation 21 st February 2008

Climate Change as Social Problem • Climate Change is the global problem • 2 Climate Change as Social Problem • Climate Change is the global problem • 2 to 6 °C temperature rise over 21 st century • Need drastic global shift away from high to low carbon consumption • Thorny global politics of an international agreement • Great policy interest in “low carbon innovation”

China’s Environmental Woes • Economic growth ≈10% since 1990 • >200 million out of China’s Environmental Woes • Economic growth ≈10% since 1990 • >200 million out of poverty BUT • Massive pollution problems • No. 1 absolute emitter of GHGs (small per capita) • Huge rate of growth of energy consumption • Vulnerability to climate change • China cannot choose and must not be forced to choose between development and environment

“Low Carbon Innovation”? • Great interest in low carbon innovation from policy BUT what “Low Carbon Innovation”? • Great interest in low carbon innovation from policy BUT what is it? • Not just technology but also social innovation • “Disruptive Innovation” – fundamental challenges to socio-economic systems (e. g. Barnsley biomass) • “Democratic Innovation” – dispersed, open, user

Politics of Low Carbon Innovation China • “Scientific development” “harmonious society” • Environmental Legislation Politics of Low Carbon Innovation China • “Scientific development” “harmonious society” • Environmental Legislation • SEPA still weak, Energy still subministerial International • Transition in international political economy

Innovation in China: The Next Science Powerhouse? • Innovation capacity improving rapidly • “Innovation-oriented Innovation in China: The Next Science Powerhouse? • Innovation capacity improving rapidly • “Innovation-oriented country” by 2020, zizhu chuangxin • Environmental innovation, e. g. : – Renewables: Suntech, Rizhao, wind – Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics on fuel cells – Dongtan • Problems: rote-learning, “talent”, IPRs, connections to business, to other researchers & to civil society

Leapfrogging? • Ambiguous outcome of policy and innovation • Problems as stimulation? • Growth Leapfrogging? • Ambiguous outcome of policy and innovation • Problems as stimulation? • Growth vs. Environment, esp. at local level? • Growth along familiar trajectories? e. g. Will the “car” run over the frog? • Commitment to coal: lead the way with CCS or exacerbate global coal usage?

International Collaboration • • • China’s problems are problems for us all EU/UK also International Collaboration • • • China’s problems are problems for us all EU/UK also lack “low carbon capacity” Innovation is globalising Room for mutual benefit China: tech transfer, improving capacity EU/UK: large & new markets to develop LC innovations • Particular compatibilities between EU and China (Chatham House)

Constraints & Tough Decisions • International – Global governance transition & economic slowdown – Constraints & Tough Decisions • International – Global governance transition & economic slowdown – Beyond the low-hanging fruit: e. g. IPRs & tech transfer • China – Plagiarism & confidentiality – Culture of open debate and criticism • EU/UK – Match rhetoric with funds, for long-term partnerships • Questions of Direction not just Scale – Need to develop global capacity for democratic

Cosmopolitan Innovation (四海为家 创新) • Cosmopolitanism as “global” social force • Global ethic of Cosmopolitan Innovation (四海为家 创新) • Cosmopolitanism as “global” social force • Global ethic of concern taking diverse local forms • Grassroots international partnerships are part of the context of the multi-layered politics of climate change treaty • Regime of international collaboration towards “global public goods”, e. g. a climate change Marshall Plan or a global research council • What factors help and constrain collaborations in low carbon innovation between the EU & China? – Energy, Agriculture & Urban Mobility

谢谢 We gratefully note the funding of the ESRC and AIM Project Team: Dr 谢谢 We gratefully note the funding of the ESRC and AIM Project Team: Dr David Tyfield d. [email protected] ac. uk Dr James Wilsdon james. [email protected] co. uk Prof John Urry j. [email protected] ac. uk Prof Brian Wynne b. [email protected] ac. uk & the Demos “Atlas of Ideas” Team www. atlasofideas. org