Wei Shen

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 interest has been mainly focusing on low carbon development and energy transition in China and its impact on international development. As a political economist, he is working on inter-disciplinary issues around central-local and state-business relations in promoting green industries such as renewable energy, carbon markets, and climate finance in China.

Wei is also interested in the social-economic impacts of low carbon transition, particularly on most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and challenges in achieving as just transition in China. In addition to domestic challenges, he is also looking at the global impacts of China low carbon development, around the issues of South-South cooperation in the energy and climate related sectors.

He is currently a lead author of the 6th Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with specific responsibility for reviewing climate policies and institutions in the global South (Working Group III, Chapter 13).

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



IDS China Centre

The IDS China Centre, part of the IDS International Initiatives, provides research focus on a country transforming global geopolitics due to its strategic importance, role in the global south and its commitment to development. It recognises that tackling universal challenges such as climate...



China’s role in critical mineral mining and its impacts  

The Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear the urgent need for a fundamental transformation of our current fossil-fuel based energy system. The fear of supply shortages of these critical minerals due to surging demand has created...

20 July 2023


Three challenges for Ethiopia’s renewable energy procurement programme

Developing countries are increasingly using auctions for the procurement of utility-scale renewable electricity. But countries like Ethiopia face institutional and ideological barriers on this pathway to green energy. More than 100 countries have implemented renewable energy auction programmes...

21 December 2021


Putting climate justice at the heart of net zero

What does net zero actually involve and who does it impact? IDS researchers highlight the cost to groups carrying the burden of decarbonisation and argue that pathways to achieving net zero targets must be just, fair and equitable. If not, they risk making the situation even worse for those...

27 September 2021


Working Paper

Governing Procurement of Renewable Electricity Amid Power Sector Reforms

Renewable energy procurement (REP) is gaining increasing importance globally as a policy instrument in driving energy diversification and sustainable development agendas, yet little is known about the institutional dynamics of how these policies evolve and integrate with broader energy sector...

Lucy Baker & 2 others

1 November 2021

Wei Shen’s recent work

Past Event

Renewable Energy Procurement from Independent Power Producers in Ethiopia

Recognising the importance of a robust procurement framework to attract private investment into the infrastructure sector, including energy, in 2017 the Government of Ethiopia introduced the Public–Private Partnerships policy. From 2018, several non-hydro renewable energy projects were...

16 November 2021