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Wei Shen

Research Fellow

Dr Wei Shen is a political economist who worked for development finance agencies in China for over ten years. His research interests include: the political economy of China’s low-carbon transformation and climate change policies; China’s role in global climate finance and climate governance; and South-South cooperation on climate change issues. He is particularly interested in the role of business and private actors in the process of low-carbon transformation in the rising powers like China and India.

Wei completed his PhD in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia, focusing on the political economy of China’s by-then popular CDM and carbon offset projects. The research was fully funded by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. His recent research regarding China’s ongoing experiment of Emission Trading Schemes is published in journals such as Climate Policy.

Wei is involved as co-investigator in an ESRC-funded research project: The Rising Powers, Clean Energy and the Low Carbon Transition in Southern Africa, led by Professor Marcus Power from Durham University. Previously, Wei has also worked closely with Chinese stakeholders of the newly established carbon market as an external advisor.

Google Scholar


Programme and centre

China international development research and mutual learning hub

Transformational change requires equitable and sustainable partnerships that generate knowledge, action and leadership that is shaped by a range of perspectives. We are committed to promoting collaborations around research, learning and teaching through the establishment of international...


Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development

The Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development is at the forefront of research and practical analysis that helps connect governments, donors, civil society, and academia to explore new way to address global development challenges.



China’s road to carbon neutrality by 2060 will be long and bumpy

Last month at the UN general assembly, President Xi Jinping surprised the world by announcing China’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. His unexpectedly forthright speech received mixed responses and raised many unanswered questions about what carbon neutrality means and how...

20 October 2020


Seeing clearly: solving Asia’s air pollution crisis

Globally, exposure to air pollution is now the single largest environmental risk to public health, with outdoor and indoor air pollution estimated to be responsible for at least 7 million deaths per year. Despite being a global problem – with the World Health Organisation (WHO)...

9 April 2019


Can China be a global climate leader?

President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement has sparked off a round of global discussion on China's potential as a global leader on climate. But is China ready to meet the expectations and fill the gap left by the US?

8 June 2017



COVID-19 and the African Energy Sector: Energy Insight

As elsewhere in the world, COVID-19 continues to ravage Africa, causing thousands of deaths and an unprecedented health crisis that is damaging to every aspect of the social and economic lives of millions of people. The energy sector is among the hardest hit, with far-reaching consequences for...

1 September 2020

Journal Article

China’s Role in Africa’s Energy Transition: a Critical Review of its Intensity, Institutions, and Impacts

Energy Research & Social Science;Volume 68, October 2020, 101578

China is playing an ever important role in Africa's energy transition, mainly via its massive investment and loans on various energy infrastructure projects ranging from extractive activities in oil and gas industries, power generation facilities including both traditional and renewable energy...

1 July 2020

Working Paper

China’s Role for Africa’s Energy Transition: a Crucial Review

State of Knowledge Paper;

Many countries in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region face multiple challenges in the transition to a modern and sustainable energy system. At the outset, there is a severe shortage of energy supply after a decade of fast-growing economic activity in many SSA countries. Currently over 55% of...

1 January 2020

Wei Shen’s recent work