Formulation of Energy Policy in China: Key Actors and Recent Developments: A research undertaking by the Centre for Chinese Studies, prepared for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) & Revenue Watch Institute (RWI)

Christopher Burke, Johanna Jansson, Wenran Jiang

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportRådgivning


Currently, China’s energy policy formulation faces a range of challenges. A multitude of actors and institutions are involved in the process, resulting in major difficulties to coordinate policy making and implementation. This, however, applies to Chinese policy making generally and is not specific to the energy area.

The following are key institutions in the Chinese energy policy formulation process: The Communist Party of China (CPC), the supreme political authority in China, has a policy developing role. The State Council, the highest executive organ of the State administration, is responsible for carrying out the principles and policies of the CPC. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is the foremost government ministry influencing energy policy.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) was established and separated from NDRC in 2008 as the new government institution in charge of China’s energy issues. The National Energy Commission (NEC), also formed in 2008, is a senior strategic body which is not involved in day-to-day activities. The State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) has investor responsibility for all China’s more than 150 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) but lacks
significant influence. In addition, several other government institutions play a more peripheral role in the energy policy formulation process.

In addition to government institutions, several actors are of importance. The country’s large national oil companies (CNPC, Sinopec and CNOOC) have substantive clout due to the fact that they are all former government ministries and that their top executives hold fairly high positions within the CPC. Moreover, research institutes such as the Development Research Centre of the State Council (DRC), the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the NDRC and several academic
research institutes have central roles in the energy policy formulation process. The paper also outlines the roles of China’s financial institutions, such as China Export-Import (EXIM) Bank and China Development Bank (CDB), in the energy sector.

In terms of recent developments, it has been noted that the Draft Energy Law, initiated in December 2007 calling for the re-establishment of an Energy Ministry to coordinate China’s energy bureaucracy, may not be implemented. Instead the National Energy Administration (NEA), in operation since the 30th July 2008, is perceived by many observers to be a compromise between those who wanted a full scale Ministry of Energy and those who wanted to maintain the status quo of diffused energy authority. The NEA will take the lead in the governance of energy. Administratively it is just short of a ministry, yet it is being headed by an
official with the full ministerial status, an arrangement which gives the NEA significant additional clout. However, the NEA may not be strong enough to mitigate bureaucratic infighting and coordinate the interests of ministries, commissions and state-owned energy companies.
UdgivelsesstedStellenbosch, South Africa
ForlagCentre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University
Antal sider37
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2009
Udgivet eksterntJa

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