Yuan graduated from East China Normal University in Shanghai with a Bachelor Degree majoring Environment Science and Master Degree majoring Urban Ecology. She went on to work as a policy consultant in environment protection and climate mitigation for Shanghai Information Center for five years (Shanghai Information Center is a think-tank for Shanghai government ).
Yuan has worked in Business Development for CoC (Centre of Competence for City Management), Asia of Siemens. Having gained experience working with government, industry and in academia, Yuan is now working on her PhD at the Australian National University.
Her research project is:
Experimentation and Transition Towards Low-carbon Cities in China.
China has the highest rate of carbon emission in the world, and urban areas are the main sources. However, China is now experiencing unprecedented urbanization. According to the Chinese government’ urbanization plan, China’s urban population will reach 60% of the total population by 2020, which means more energy consumption and carbon emission will occur in urban areas in China. Therefore, carbon emission control in Chinese cities is of great importance not only for China, but also for the whole world.
In response to its high level of GHG emissions, the Chinese government initiated a National Programme on Climate Change in 2007, which is the first comprehensive policy document on global environmental problem; then, Starting in 2008, the government has published an annual White Paper on policies and actions, reviewing the policies and setting new goal. In order to achieve the goals, since 2010, the central government has launched many pilot low-carbon projects; some selected cities and provinces have participated in to gain valuable experience for upscaling purpose in the future. From the perspectives of policer makers, it will be a win-win solution if a few pilot cities set up a successful “low-carbon” urbanization pattern in China.
Shanghai, as a pilot low-carbon city in China, will be the main case study for this research. This PhD research aims to explore the implications of low-carbon cities, understand the policy evolving process and the transition mechanisms demonstrated by the Shanghai experiment, and then discuss how these mechanisms can be applied to other areas for their transition towards low-carbon cities. Importantly, the role that business actors play during transitions will be examined, as this has not been sufficiently analysed in a Chinese context. Eventually, this research may develop new perceptions on low-carbon cities in China and worldwide; the proposed case study in Shanghai may offer valuable experiences not only for cities in China or developing economies, but probably also for other cities in the world.