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Part of the great power competition between the United States and China is a question of who will lead the low-carbon economy. One facet of this contest is building financial systems that can channel capital toward companies that are ready to adapt to this new economy and reduce exposure to companies that are not. This requires strong climate disclosure regimes that can ensure that companies provide useful information to investors to support their decision-making. The US is finalizing its first systematic series of climate disclosure mandates this year. But what does China’s disclosure regime look like? Existing literature has provided only fragmentary answers to this question.
This report, part of the China Energy and Climate Program at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA, offers the most comprehensive English-language analysis to date of China’s climate disclosure regime—the regulations, pressures, and informal norms that drive firms’ decisions around publicizing climate-relevant information about their businesses. The report begins by reviewing the climate disclosures of 39 of China’s largest carbon-emitting firms—its “carbon majors”—to provide a baseline survey of climate disclosure quality among large, emissions-intensive firms. The sample spans seven of China’s highest-emitting industrial sectors and includes both listed and unlisted firms. The Authors combine this review with an analysis of cross-national corporate climate disclosure quality datasets to map China’s climate disclosure regime.
The main takeaways of the report are as follows:
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