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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



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.



COVID-19: the social science lessons we need to learn from Wuhan

To date, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has caused over 3,000 deaths, and we are at the critical threshold of global pandemic. Meanwhile, at the centre of this outbreak, the city of Wuhan has been in total lockdown for over a month and the number of deaths and new cases is finally beginning to...

3 March 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


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

Journal Article

Can China Lead in Multilateral Environmental Negotiations? Internal Politics, Self-Depiction, and China’s Contribution in Climate Change Regime and Mekong Governance

The impacts of China’s intensified efforts to engage in regional and global environmental governance is widely noted and debated. With rapidly increasing economic and political influence, China has been gradually changing its attitude and strategy in negotiations over some of the most...

19 February 2019

Wei Shen’s recent work