Climate action in China

Four levers to advance gender and social equality
Research paper Published 6 March 2023 Updated 7 March 2023 ISBN: 978 1 78413 559 1 DOI: 10.55317/9781784135591
Women working in a Chinese factory producing solar panels.

China is central to global climate action, and the country is working towards innovative solutions that can mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Simultaneously, China is pursuing low-carbon innovation, the revitalization of rural areas and the promotion of women’s development.

The adverse impacts of climate change disproportionately affect disadvantaged social groups. Yet climate change interventions that address gender and other social inequalities can produce more effective and sustainable outcomes. China’s current approach to climate change and socio-economic policy is relatively siloed, top-down and technocratic, which typically precludes the consideration of these cross-cutting approaches. 

Key synergies exist between work on climate change mitigation and adaptation, rural revitalization and women’s development in China. Collaborative work in these areas can help to make the country’s responses to the climate crisis more effective and sustainable – and interest is growing in China’s NGO and research communities.

This paper explores the opportunity for taking a more collaborative approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation, rural revitalization and gender equality. Based on participatory research, it recommends four key levers for change for research institutions, NGOs and funding organizations to advance gender equality and social inclusion in climate action in China.