The global politics and economies of de-carbonization are shaped by the so-called illiberal politics of China’s transformation their intersections with the structures and limits of carbon democracy (Mitchell 2011). China’s renewables industries are at the center of the global green economy. Thus, the structural inequalities of its political economy of export manufacturing; namely, the use of party-state authority in extra-market forms of coercion and dispossession, are foundational to renewables as a market-based solution to energy supply and climate change. A second form of illiberalism—and anti-liberalism—lies in relation to the party-state’s re-centralization of industrial and spatial planning over the past decade. These dynamics intersect with the intensive re-centralization of party-state authority that is ongoing under the leadership of Xi Jinping, and a continued depoliticization of societal relationships with the party-state and its vision for national development. This talk explores the confluence of these processes with the global political economies of low-carbon value. Professor Chen analyzes the ideological assumptions (and/or hopes) of convergence in political, economic and climatic domains and argue that these assumptions are belied by forms of low-carbon politics centered on maintaining high-carbon patterns of accumulation and consumption. 

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