Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Local Government-Led Climate Governance and Social Inclusion: The Case Study of J County in China

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Abstract:  Social inclusion in climate governance is related to social justice and inclusive climate justice explicitly aims to open up climate policy and politics to a broader range of actors and voices, especially those most exposed to climate‐related injustice. This article employs qualitative research methods to comprehensively examine the issue of social inclusion in the context of local government‐led climate governance in J County, Zhejiang province, China. The study finds that the climate governance in J County demonstrates a certain degree of social inclusion in terms of participation by local farmers and benefit distribution. However, this social inclusion has a hidden fragility: It is limited and unstable. The limited social inclusion is manifested in the fact that, throughout the entire process, bamboo farmers were unable to participate due to their lack of a comprehensive understanding of the climate governance action plan, and the distribution of climate governance benefits is characterised by a lack of transparency in the design process and uncertainty regarding potential benefits. The unstable social inclusion is manifested in the great differences in the  environmental governance actions of J County in different periods, especially regarding public participation and benefit distribution. Fundamentally, this is mainly due to the significant influence of China’s unique top‐down performance evaluation system on local government‐led climate governance actions in J County. Social inclusion in local government‐led environmental governance may again be marginalised if the top‐down performance evaluation indicators faced by local governments change in the future.

Keywords:  climate governance; local government‐led; performance assessment; social inclusion; forest farmers

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.7458


© Chunhua Yan, Yajuan Luo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.