We’re pleased to announce the launch of Understanding China’s Energy Landscape: Achievements, Challenges and Conflicts, Past, Present and Future, a new website from Focus on the Global South. This unique and comprehensive resource contains a wide range of English-language texts on energy development in China, with particular attention to social and environmental concerns in the sector.

The evolution of the world’s energy system is, and will be, closely intertwined with possible solutions to the world economic, financial and political crises; solutions which may be more or less authoritarian, or more or less emancipatory. Changes in the world’s energy sector are accelerating rapidly, and in many places, the sector is defined by social and environmental conflicts, with different grassroots organizational processes emerging to defend and promote the interests of affected communities and workers. We believe it is important to build worldwide processes of dialogue, with common analyses, political perspectives and collaborations to help strengthen specific local campaigns, initiatives and struggles and create alternatives. China’s role in the world’s energy sector, both currently, and in the future, is increasingly significant.

This website contains information and analysis about coal, oil, hydropower, nuclear, renewable energy (especially wind and solar power), and energy-intensive industries and energy efficiency, as well as about the power sector more generally. It provides an overall picture of the different branches of the Chinese energy sector, exploring some of the links between energy, work, land and the environment, as well as structures of ownership, control and decision-making. This is based on an understanding that energy is a key means of production and subsistence. The articles address both the positive and negative effects of energy development on people’s lives, conflicts of interest that arise from this development, and related areas such as climate change.

The site contains close to 1,000 articles written by a wide variety of actors, including small grassroots Chinese NGOs, larger international NGOs, the Chinese government, Chinese academics, foreign governments, foreign researchers and think tanks, labour organizations, as well as international and regional political, economic and financial institutions, and the commercial sector. Some of these articles are short reports of two to three pages, while others are very detailed reports and analyses of several hundred pages. Some have a social, political, or economic focus, while others focus on the scientific and technological aspects of energy.

It is increasingly important for global grassroots networks, movements and local organizations to be informed about what is happening in China. Conversely, different actors in China could, potentially, in many cases benefit from international solidarity, for instance in relation to worker and peasant conflicts relating to the different branches of the energy sector and energy-intensive industries.

This website is geared toward people outside of China who are interested in these questions but who are not able to access Chinese materials, and at the same time, we believe it may also be useful for people within China, because it combines information about many different aspects of the energy sector in one single site. It is hoped that the site can help to make visible to English speakers some of the major developments in China’s energy sector, and can connect developments and discussions in China with international grassroots discussions and initiatives relating to energy.

The creators of the project are: Dorothy Grace Guerrero, senior programme officer at Focus on the Global South; Raffy Simbol, freelance web developer; and Kolya Abramsky, freelance energy researcher, educator and organizer.

We invite you to explore understandchinanenergy.org and share it widely.