Political Economy of Low Carbon Investment in China and India

This project investigates whether and how coalitions of public, private and civic actors influence low carbon investment.

  • It is clear that the low carbon transition requires enormous investment in new technology, especially private investment. It is not yet clear how to generate this investment.
  • The dominant approach is top-down, but it appears to be at an impasse. It relies on establishing new global rules for reducing carbon emissions and assumes that private investment will follow.
  • This approach cannot explain the substantial investments that have occurred in some countries and sectors. And it is unlikely to trigger the investments needed in the future.
  • In order to capture the emerging economic and political dynamics, our project will experiment with a bottom-up approach.
  • We focus on the (changing) alignments of interest between investors and policy makers (and civil society groups) at the local and national level and their influence on the positoning of enterprises and their investments.
  • We obtain the required investment data from the Bloomberg New Energy Finance group and investigate who/what explains the turning points in investment by interviewing key actors.
  • The project focuses on investment in the wind and solar power sectors in China and India. China is now the World No. 1 investor and India has had the highest growth rate in 2011.

Key contact

Stephen Spratt, IDS Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915799

E: s.spratt@ids.ac.uk

More details
Photo of Hubert Schmitz from Green Transformations Cluster

E: h.schmitz@emeritus.ids.ac.uk

More details

The Political Economy of Low-carbon Investments: Insights from the Wind and Solar Power Sectors in India

IDS Evidence Report 104 (2015)
Krishna, C., Sagar, A.D. and Spratt, S.

What Drives Wind and Solar Energy Investment in India and China?

IDS Evidence Report 87 (2014)
Spratt, S., Dong, W., Krishna, C., Sagar, A. and Ye, Q.

Partner researchers

Project Dates:
April 2012 - March 2016
Project Status:
Department for International Development (DFID)
Research Themes / Programmes:
BRICS and Rising Powers
Business and Development Centre
Economy and Finance
Low-carbon Development